[Numeracy 311] Controversial News Articles

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tsticht at znet.com tsticht at znet.com
Sat Apr 17 15:58:13 EDT 2010

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
Tom Sticht

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
school students.

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.”