Thursday, July 10, 2008

Plagiarizing myself...

Backed Halibut... hmmmm

To save time and effort, I am just going to post the comments I made at other websites.

On eduwonkette: The Rhetoric of Reform: Does Research Count?

It's not like private school or charter school teachers get any different training that public school teachers.

To me this is a no duh study.

It's basically the same result when you randomly place low SES students in middle class schools.
Vouchers or school choice are only useful if parents choose a school that uses effective teaching practices. Then again, it would be so much simpler if public schools improved their teaching techniques.

If our government is going to spend money on studies, someone needs to do a long term study on which education schools produce teachers who have the greatest effects on student achievement.

Who wants to bet that the results show that education schools that concentrate on the mechanics of teaching do much better than the schools that concentrate of edujargon?

Actually, hold of on doing the study, I smell a great thesis paper for my graduate studies in a few years.

More from eduwonkette: Guest Blogger Mica Pollock on: Everyday Antiracism: Getting Real About Race in School#comments

Arguments that race isn't biological are naive see... Lewontin's Fallacy. The critical debate is whether IQ/intelligence/academic ability is genetic, but to focus on that question misses the boat when it comes to education.

Education standards should be set based on the premise that they are achievable by all students regardless of their ability (speed of learning) or starting point. Once we have accepted this, the key then is to figure out how to get all students across this line.

I am probably spoiled and naive when it comes to addressing race due to my upbringing (adopted multiracial family) and to the Air Force (most successfully integrated organization in the world), but I realize that there are probably some system/organizational changes to made to provide every student with the proper opportunities and outlook.

However, I am convinced that the key to improving education outcomes for disadvantaged groups just aren't going to be solved by addressing race. Simply put, it all boils down to the curriculum and pedagogy. There are right ways and wrong ways to teach. It’s just that middle/upper class students have the advantage of parents and an environment that can compensate for the shortcomings.

As to ability grouping, it really comes down to a simple premise.

Ability grouping is better for low, middle, and high performing kids in absolute terms. The problem is that in comparative terms, the differences between the groups get relatively larger and larger.

Our system has subtly decided that it's better to keep the relative differences smaller instead of making greater performance gains for all groups. Ironically, given NCLB's measuring stick of all kids getting above a certain line, the system works against itself. Talk about cognitive dissonance.

No comments allowed... if you must call me an idiot, do it at the original website.