[Numeracy 312] Re: Controversial News Articles
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Tue Apr 20 10:37:36 EDT 2010
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In reading the article about the closing of the charter school that Stanford and Linda Darling-Hammond ran, it seems like a good illustration of the challenges facing educators everywhere -- systemic poverty, diversity, limited resources, english language learning, assessments. The fact that Linda Darling-Hammond has the President's ear and hopefully Secretary Duncan's as well could be a really positive thing. The article said that the schools had shown improvments, just not the dramatic leaps which observers demand. Maybe this is a valuable "teachable" moment demonstrating that education is a lengthy process of many steps.
I am trying to understand why the idea of national standards or a curriculum is objectionable. I am from Georgia and I see how bogged down our state and local governments get in the politics of curricula. We also linger towards the bottom in national tests like the SAT. What would be so bad about having a set standard of math objectives for each grade so that to say you graduated from a U.S. high school means that your math education included whatever is in the national definition? Another bonus would be that if students have to move during their k12 career, they are ready for their new school.
From: numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov [numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov] on behalf of tsticht at znet.com [tsticht at znet.com]
Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2010 3:58 PM
To: numeracy at nifl.gov
Subject: [Numeracy 311] Controversial News Articles
Colleagues: Here are extracts from two news stories that may be of interest.
They seem to challenge some of the more innovative actions (e.g., authentic
assessments; professional development in math) that many educational
researchers recommend to improve the nation's K-12 educational system. No
doubt these reports will be considered quite controversial! You can find
full stores on www.educationnews.org
Posted on 4/17/2010 at www.educationnews.org
#1 Middle School Mathematics Professional Development Impact Study: Findings
After the First Year of Implementation
Results after one year of providing teachers math professional development
(PD) indicate no improvement on their students' math achievement when
compared to teachers who did not receive the study-provided PD.
#2 Obama’s Linda Darling-Hammond and Her Failed School”
by Donna Garner
Early in Obama’s presidency, it looked as if he was going to appoint Linda
Darling-Hammond as his Secretary of Education. Instead, Obama decided to
empower Darling-Hammond to complete the federal takeover of the public
schools by authorizing her to help develop the national tests (i.e.,
assessments). These assessments are the centerpiece in Obama’s plan to put
the federal government in charge of what gets taught each day to public
By having national standards, national curriculum, national assessments, and
a national database tying students’ scores directly to teachers’ pay and
longevity, teachers will be forced to teach their students whatever is in
the national standards and on the national assessments.
Today we see that Linda Darling-Hammond’s approach to education has failed.
The school she founded in California is to be closed because of low test
scores and lack of significant improvement.
A similar charter school (Aspire) in the same district focused on academics;
Darling-Hammond’s school focused on project-based learning, subjective
assessments, portfolios, and “students’ emotional and social lives.”
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