• Great words of encouragement for reformers.

    Do you get discouraged or frustrated that real and effective reforms are too slow and not enough people care about improving schools in meaningful systemic ways. And, that too often, when reforms are actually undertaken, they often go off the rails, even though well intentioned. Yes, sometimes I do get discouraged. But now, thanks to reading The New York Times Book Review about Steven Brill’s new book, Tailspin—The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall—and Those Fighting [...]
  • Joanne Jacob’s piece, “None dare call it tracking…”

    An interesting piece. http://www.joannejacobs.com/2018/07/none-dare-call-it-tracking/. And if it's tracking, Joanne is fine with it--because it focuses on what students need, not their labels or economic status. Finally It's about time. I think we're finally getting somewhere. My comment in her piece is this: Check out schools based on proficiency and competency (competency-based education--CBE). Dare I say it--these schools and programs are on the right "track" because they [...]
  • Why I’m an optimist–PART 2: Who will be our Atul Gawande?

    The most inspiring news about improving public education for all students—general and special ed—comes from the new health care venture launched in Boston by Jeff Bezos of Amazon, investor Warren Buffett, and Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase. It doesn’t come from education at [...]
  • Those overused SAT and ACT accommodations again. See joanne.jacobs.com

    YUP! It all started in 2003, when these companies, the SAT (the College Board) and the ACT decided to no longer let readers know that a test was given in a nonstandard way to a student who had an accommodation for that nonstandarized testing. See my article at the time, disabling the SAT, http://educationnext.org/disablingthesat/ The rush to get accommodations (especially for more time) started then and has continued to grow and expand-- especially among those who can play the game of [...]
  • Wall Street Journal quotes me about the overuse of accommodations! When will it ever end?

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/colleges-bend-the-rules-for-more-students-give-them-extra-help-1527154200# Check it out. Very sad for our colleges and standards, as I see it. But not surprising for those of us who have watched the troubling and unfortunately, predictable dive from standards, starting in 2003 when the SAT and ACT stopped "flagging" tests given with nonstandard accommdations. See my piece at the time, http://educationnext.org/disablingthesat/ What are we doing as a [...]
  • This Commentary got my attention! “Why I’m Against Innovation in Education”

    https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2018/05/02/why-im-against-innovation-in-education.html Thank you, Mike Schmoker, for this important and necessary Commentary. You are so right! We need more (objective, not-agenda-or advocacy-driven) researchers and educators to speak up for effective educational practices and results. What's missing, though, is any mention of special education--the arena filled with agenda-driven, faddish, mandated, and yet, unproven approaches. Beyond [...]
  • SAT accommodations–another sad tale.

    https://nypost.com/2018/05/02/rich-parents-are-using-doctors-notes-to-help-kids-cheat-the-sats/ When will this ever end? What will be the tipping point? How unfair can we be? Testing companies need to preserve test validity-- that's the product they are supposedly selling--tests that are STANDARDIZED to measure all students fairly and in the same way. So, they have a choice. Either stop timing these tests for everyone or bring back notification that the extended time test results [...]
  • OK for other people’s children but not our own? Really? Yes, really scary!

    Silicon Valley --where so much technology, which we now realize can be very addictive, is created, is often for other people's children. Many parents in SV don't allow their OWN to use it, or very much limit their children's use, and choose schools (private, of course), where technology is not used--even as they keep on selling this stuff to public schools across the US. In fact, more low-tech private schools are popping but, even as tech sales to public schools for other people's [...]
  • NAEP and Lake Wobegon. Really?

    Thank you, Diane, for posting and James Harvey of the Superintendents' Roundtable, for reminding us. We don't live in Lake Wobegon where all kids are above average. Honestly, can all kids will be proficient? https://dianeravitch.net/2018/04/10/james-harvey-dont-be-fooled-by-naep-proficient/ Raising false expectations leads to a loss of trust in our schools. Remember 2014 when the NCLB mandated (?) that all kids were to be proficient. How did that work out for us?
  • Teaching little children BEFORE they fall behind… another reason to be an optimist!

    https://edsource.org/2018/facing-unprepared-kindergartners-a-rural-school-district-restores-preschool-for-all/595667?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email Wonderful story. PBS--proficiency-based schools--is the way forward, as I see it. Let's help kids BEFORE they fall behind. Let's get them ready for kindergarten. Here's a story about early childhood programs in California's Lindsay Unified School District. While it's certainly a step in the right direction, I also believe in [...]