Thursday, September 12, 2019

So What? The Importance of Knowing about “Success” and “Failure” in American Schools (Part 1) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

So What? The Importance of Knowing about “Success” and “Failure” in American Schools (Part 1) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

So What? The Importance of Knowing about “Success” and “Failure” in American Schools (Part 1)

The next few posts are drawn from the final chapter of “Chasing Success and Confronting Failure in American Schools.” The book is scheduled to come out in March 2020.
So What?
Why should readers care about defining individual and institutional “success” and “failure” in U.S. schools? Why should readers care about the past and present existence of American core values stuffed with notions of “success” and “failure” and how schools transmit these values? Finally, why should readers care about two uncommon public schools (MetWest High School in Oakland, California and Social Justice Humanitas Academy in Los Angeles Unified District) that display these shared values and yet expand familiar definitions of organizational “success” in ways that most U.S. schools do not?
My answer to these “So What” questions is that definitions of institutional and individual “success” and “failure” applied to U.S. schools show up daily in the taken-for-granted institution called the age-graded school. Within the age-graded school, judgments of “success” and “failure” are inherent in student, teacher, principal, school board, and superintendent actions, memos, and social media. In age-graded schools numbers and subjective decisions identify winners and losers through student report cards, teacher evaluations, and district accountability ratings.
But even of greater importance is that amid this organization’s extraordinary stability in American life, over a century of school reform has tried to overhaul it, CONTINUE READING: So What? The Importance of Knowing about “Success” and “Failure” in American Schools (Part 1) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

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