CURMUDGUCATION: Can Evidence Improve America's Schools?:
Can Evidence Improve America's Schools?
That's the question asked by Mike Petrilli (Fordham Institute) asks over at the Fordham blog.
The piece harkens back to Chester Finn's 1986 book titled, unironically, What Works. And the piece also ties into Petrilli's ongoing series about how to drive change in education. After noting that nothing from Finn's work has ever really gotten traction, Petrilli bemoans our benighted edu-state.
Education remains a field in which habit, intuition, and incumbency continue to play at least as large a role as research and data analysis.
Petrilli has, as is his wont, stacked the deck from the first framing of the issue. He could as easily have written that education is a field in which experienced and trained professionals continue to rely on their own judgment rather than the kibbitzing of non-professionals outside the field. But absent the framing, I'll allow him this-- not a lot of outside research makes much of an impression on how schools function.
So the first question is why not? And Petrilli has a list of answers from Vivian Tseng (W.T.Grant Foundation), Tom Kane (Harvard Center for Reformy Education Policy Research) and Michael Barber (Overlord of Pearson's World-Conquering Data-Hungry Corporate Monstrosity). The list is interesting, albeit not exactly on point.
Limited supply. Maybe there's more research than there used to be, but there are still many CURMUDGUCATION: Can Evidence Improve America's Schools?:
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