Drilling And Brilling

More Texas sucks fallout. PolitiFact takes a look at Secretary Duncan’s claim that class sizes are growing fast in the Lone Star State.

And Steven Brill turns in a must-read essay about the education state of play on Reuters.

3 Replies to “Drilling And Brilling”

  1. This is an excellent essay indeed. In the beginning paragraph Mr. Brill gives the example of a novice journalism student who accepts a fact without asking a crucial question, “Is it true?”

    And so it is with the “reform” movement. It started with a “miracle” in Texas that was copied by “educators” across the country. Suddenly educational miracles were being reported in New York, DC, Atlanta, Los Angeles and elsewhere. Why, there were teachers who reported test scores that went from the thirteenth to the ninetieth percentiles in one year! People applauded and catapulted these individuals into national prominence. But journalists did not check the facts. They did not ask, “Is this true?”

    Finally a few brave and independent journalists began to ask questions but their comments were confined to the local arena until USA Today did a thorough investigation of “miraculous” test scores and found a bunch of lies.

    So, yes, many of us DO deny educational “reform” because we know it’s not true.

  2. What you won’t get from The Washington Post, NYT, NYRB, or The Nation:

    A analysis of Mr. Brill and his “facts.”

    In conclusion, ‘Class Warfare’ is a frightening books. It’s a ‘heist’ story where public education is nearly hijacked by well-meaning people who assume that schools can be driven by the same things that drive business. The good news, though, is that the heist has not yet been completed. And this book actually jeopardizes the heist since the robbers are still in the vault. Brill tells us exactly how they got into the vault, exactly where they currently are, and exactly where they are planning to go next. This makes it even easier for the ‘bad’ guys to catch them. My hope is that just as Waiting For Superman actually hurt the reform movement by awakening the opposition, this book will do this even more.

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