Saturday, August 27, 2016

Why school is a ‘confusing mental mish-mash’ for kids - The Washington Post

Why school is a ‘confusing mental mish-mash’ for kids - The Washington Post:

Why school is a ‘confusing mental mish-mash’ for kids


Marion Brady is a veteran educator who has long argued that public education needs a paradigm shift. Here is a new piece in which he explains why schools need a complete transformation in what and how students learn, and why the Common Core State Standards, standardized tests and other elements of corporate-influenced school reform can’t accomplish this.
Brady says that “it frustrates” him enormously” that so many high-profile politicians who consider themselves liberal and progressive are fans of the Common Core State Standards and of the high-stakes standardized tests the standards enable.  He invites public responses to this post from the advocacy group Democrats For Education Reform and other organizations convinced of the adequacy of the Common Core State Standards.

By Marion Brady
The federal and state education reform initiatives kicked off about a quarter-century ago by theNo Child Left Behind legislation assume the following: that the institution itself is basically sound, that teachers bear major blame for poor school performance, that the Common Core State Standards tell teachers what to say and kids what to remember, that bringing market forces to bear will make them do it, and that high-stakes tests monitor what’s important.
Those six assumptions shape American education policy, and they’re all false. Today’s reform initiative began with a wrong diagnosis of what ails the institution and, by its own measure — standardized testing — the initiative has failed. By all other measures, the initiative hasn’t just failed, it has been an institution-destroying catastrophe.
Responding to public protest, Congress recently went through the motions of loosening its grip on schooling. But not understanding the problem, it refused to abandon the sixth assumption, that standardized tests measure what’s important.
They don’t because they can’t.
Here’s why

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