Thursday, March 11, 2010

Links for 3/11/10

the states responded to NCLB by dumbing down their standards so that they could claim to be making progress. Some states declared that between 80%-90% of their students were proficient, but on the federal test only a third or less were. Because the law demanded progress only in reading and math, schools were incentivized to show gains only on those subjects... Meanwhile, there was no incentive to teach the arts, science, history, literature, geography, civics, foreign languages or physical education.

In short, accountability turned into a nightmare for American schools, producing graduates who were drilled regularly on the basic skills but were often ignorant about almost everything else…

Given the weight of studies, evaluations and federal test data, I concluded that deregulation and privately managed charter schools were not the answer to the deep-seated problems of American education…

The current emphasis on accountability has created a punitive atmosphere in the schools…

On our present course, we are disrupting communities, dumbing down our schools, giving students false reports of their progress, and creating a private sector that will undermine public education without improving it. Most significantly, we are not producing a generation of students who are more knowledgable, and better prepared for the responsibilities of citizenship. That is why I changed my mind about the current direction of school reform.
David Glenn
"When the English 130 sections moved above 22 students, it really didn't seem to be working well," says Kim D. Jaxon, a lecturer in composition. "So I thought, Fine. Let's blow it up. Let's try 90."
Scott Jaschik
Not only does Ohio State want to end the all-out dominance of research considerations in reviews for full professor, but the university wants to explore options where some academics might earn promotions based largely on research (and have their subsequent careers reshaped with that focus) while others might earn promotions based largely on teaching (and similarly have career expectations adjusted). Both could earn the title of full professor.
Jeffrey R. Young
An associate professor who focuses on digital media, Mr. Vaidhyanathan regularly teaches and writes enthusiastically about movements to make music, movies, and other creative works free online. I thought he'd be one of the first people to advocate open access to lectures.

But no. "I find myself playing devil's advocate all the time" in class, he said. "I don't want to be on the record saying something I don't even believe" if the lectures go out on the Web. He considers the classroom a "sacred space" that may need to stay private to preserve academic freedom...

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