• Thank you! A student reacts to the overuse of SAT extended time

    Thank you, Luke Egan for bringing this issue to the fore-- again--and thank you, a loyal reader of my work, for bringing it to my attention. The opening paragraph is terrific, as it raises the issue by students for students. "The most polarizing issue in my high school’s community didn’t relate to religion or politics. It was the issue of extra time. Extra time, which is often given for in-class assignment and standardized tests, typically offers students who qualify 1.5 to double [...]
  • The story that just won’t go away–

    ...Ah, those SAT and ACT accommodations. Some students get accommodations--especially extended time (50 or 75% or ??? more time than other students--without ANY notice to colleges, schools, students, and parents that those tests were taken under non-standard conditions. Really? Yes, really. So long as colleges continue to use these tests in their admission process, the most basic requirement is that they be standardized. They no longer are--as we no longer know how students took [...]
  • Finally, a thoughtful question about inclusion….

    Finally, the question is posed: has inclusion gone too far? Do we know? Can we know? The question posed in this important piece by Allison Gilmour, published in Education Next is: Has Inclusion Gone Too Far? https://www.educationnext.org/has-inclusion-gone-too-far-weighing-effects-students-with-disabilities-peers-teachers/ At last, maybe we’re getting somewhere–that is, maybe we will start to focus on ALL students and ALL teachers in our schools when we set up [...]
  • Finally! Has inclusion gone too far?

    Finally, some research looking at inclusion from the perspective of students with disabilities, their peers and their teachers. The story is not so rosy--in fact, it is troubling. We need far more research. I've been writing about this issue for years--check out my Wall Street Journal op-ed and my book, Special Education 2.0. Here's the article by Alison F. Gilmour. It will be published in Education Next this fall. Check it out. Your thoughts? Has Inclusion Gone Too Far? [...]
  • Early childhood program benefits “over blown” by recent report.

    Check out Joanne Jacobs' blog about this research by Grover Whitehurst at the Brookings Center on Children and Families. http://www.joannejacobs.com/2018/07/pre-ks-benefits-are-overblown/. Read it and weep. My take on all of this? Fascinating and oh, so sad for these children, their families, and our nation. And worse, these studies seem to confirm earlier ones about the lack of long term positive effects from preschools. Yet we continue to throw good money at these, while [...]
  • 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 [...]