Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Buzzword BS

The blogosphere and news world is on fire about the latest report on the progress made in education over the last few years.

Even though everyone and there bother has wrote something about it (including me now), I will pick on Kevin Drum's post over at Political Animal. Commenter's are using all sorts of cool phrases over in the comments section: phrases like "curriculum narrowing"

Curriculum narrowing is such a nice little buzz word. Of course no one talks about the curriculum broadening that happened over the last couple of decades.

Our schools teach the same things, to the same students, year after year, hoping that if it's repeated enough, some of it will sink in. Of course this is a very inefficient manner of teaching. It's half ass year after year.

K-3 should concentrate on basic reading and math skills.

4-8 grades should be used to gradually increase students background knowledge.

9-12 grades should then begin to merge the background knowledge, put it in to context, and teach critical thinking.

Instead our schools try and teach critical thinking to 8 year olds, basic reading skills to 8th graders, and background knowledge to Juniors in High School.

Kevin himself, notes the wide discrepancy between the state test scores and NAEP. (He isn't the only one, bloggers on the left and right are miraculously discovering it).

The discrepancy between State scores and NAEP performance has been well covered by the education blogosphere, including take-downs of several NYC articles.

For example.

Its amazing to me that the political blogosphere only cares about education when it can be used to score points against which ever political party they are against. The rest of the time, all that interests most political bloggers is whether some guy named Scooter is going to serve any prison time.

Meanwhile there are thousands of parents out there railing against the system trying to encourage the smallest amount of reform. Enjoy your 15 minutes school reformers, it will come around again in another few months.

Peace, I'm outie.

This guy should be fired!

Report Shows Indiana's Achievement Gap Still A Problem:

"Perhaps the only clear-cut data the report showed about Indiana is that the achievement gap between white students and poor or minority students is large and doesn't seem to be going away. Many other states have the same problem, said Jack Jennings, president and CEO of the Center on Education Policy, an independent nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C.
I don't know who hired him, but they should probably be looking for someone else. "Many other states" don't have the same problem. EVERY STATE has the same problem. There isn't a single state without a large achievement gap. OK, maybe that isn't true. Some states have large achievement gaps, the other states have gigantic achievement gaps. With the exception of Washington state, the states that do show the lowest achievement gaps pretty much have crappy overall scores anyway.

You think if he was going to make excuses, he would go with "everybody else sucks as well", instead of "we aren't the only one who sucks". Put it perspective baby, put it in perspective.

Reference: Education Trust: Education Watch State NAEP Tables

I hate the new layout - The Internets #1 source for Education News and Information

Just saying...