Friday, August 5, 2016

CURMUDGUCATION: Bellwether's Learning Landscape

CURMUDGUCATION: Bellwether's Learning Landscape:

CURMUDGUCATION: Bellwether's Learning Landscape

Bellwether Partners, one of the nation's leading reform right-tilted thinky tanks, have created a new report big enough to deserve its own website. The Learning Landscape is an attempt to create a broad overview of the education biz right now, and while there is much to disagree with, it's a bold attempt and an impressive collection of data and stuff. 

I've read this so that you don't have to, but be warned-- there are six big honking sections to this, so our journey will not be a brief one. It may not be a bridge too far, but it's definitely long enough to stretch over some Florida swampland.

Before We Start

Content aside, I will say this about the report-- somebody deserves a big bonus and a pat on the back for the layout and structure of this report. It is easily navigated, enormously readable, and actually takes advantage of some of the technological possibilities of a report on the internet instead of just taking a paper report and essentially scanning it into digital form. So kudos to whoever managed that. Now let's look at what the report actually says.

Chapter 1: Student Achievement

The fundamental problem with this chapter is the same old, same old-- we are saying "student achievement" when what we actually mean is "student scores on a narrow standardized test." The report hides the bad assumption behind this kind of language:

In recent decades, national focus has been on the performance of all students against state and federal standards as well as the relative performance of sub-groups of students based on race, CURMUDGUCATION: Bellwether's Learning Landscape: