Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How did things get this Bad?
.................Will it ever get Better?

Sandra Stotsky writing


The Negative Influence of Education Schools on the K-12 Curriculum

June 30, 2008 By Sandra Stotsky, University of Arkansas

The article refers to two general theories driving the pedagogy taught in education schools:

o Constructivism;
o Social justice theory
and their effects.

the conclusion is:

We may best interpret the recent mushrooming of both privately and publicly financed tutorial programs (especially in mathematics), the phenomenal growth of home-schooling in the past two decades, and the ever-increasing number of public and private charter schools as forms of parental reaction to the bloated, distorted, or non-existent textbooks that their children now learn from in a haphazard, watered-down, and distorted curriculum. .....

To salvage a failing public school system, we need to remove de facto control of the content of the K-12 curriculum from education schools as soon as possible. We can remove their control over teacher training by transferring control of teacher preparation in core subjects and the content of these subjects to discipline-based experts at non-profit independent centers or institutes with principled intellectual and civic goals. We can also require educational textbook publishers to use these academic experts as senior authors or consultants for all school textbooks. Voices are beginning to call for the dissolution of our public school system—a logical result of the increasingly negative influence of education schools on the quality of the curriculum and instruction in it. That influence will continue until their direct control of educator preparation and indirect control of the content and pedagogy in school textbooks is removed.


I've noticed, amid all the UW guidance for SPS math, a failure of anyone to account for the shortage of positive results. A constantly expanding math achievement gap, the poor Everyday Math results, and horrendous results from UW assisted IMP use at Cleveland has not dampened the SPS Central Administration's preference for Reform Math programs.

To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data. Wonder if that will ever happen in Seattle?

I still wonder how the public allowed things to get this bad.
Will the public ever do anything about this?

Maybe I should start work on my Doctorate in Education at UW to see how I can become totally inept at producing any positive results.

Dr. Stotsky has a PhD in education ... so there must be a few good graduate school Education programs out there. http://www.uark.edu/ua/der/People/stotsky.html

She was also a member of the National Math Advisory Panel.

The National Math Advisory Panel was focused on results and reliable studies.
The SPS pays NMAP little attention. The recommendation to prepare students for success in "Authentic Algebra" is ignored. If "Discovering Algebra" is adopted the SPS will not be offering any authentic algebra.


Anonymous said...

Why should reformers stop now? They've butchered public education and graduation rates are at near all-time lows. Students are wisely choosing not to attend colleges. They're not prepared and the risks are too great. This is not a good time to be a new teacher.

dan dempsey said...

Graduation rates are down slightly. They are no where near 1950 levels.

It certainly is a poor time to be teaching in Seattle. There is very little emphasis on content coming from Central Admin. Imagine what a Core Knowledge alternative school would be like.

Why should reformers stop now?

Because the public rises up and stops them.

Check Sudhakar's blog ...
Boeing in Bangalore ...
and the SPS is still pushing no results reform math.
Time for a revolution.

Anonymous said...

We cannot trust the data - there has been debate for some time, exactly how it is that public schools are calculating graduation and dropout rates. There is even controversy here!

The turnover and transfer rates of students are soaring and as we can see by the number of remedial classes (which also include classes who's purpose is to pass standardized tests this leaves little room for taking electives. Where is the motivation for students to attend high school?

dan dempsey said...

Excellent point, how accurate are any data that appear to be giving results very favorable to those compiling and releasing the data?

I have no idea.