The Economist takes a look at schools. The analysis overlooks just how much the debate about internal comparisons is alive with correlation – causation fallacies and cherry-picking of data and evidence but it’s hard to argue with the point that the education debate is shifting to a more empirical footing – that’s a big story of the last decade. Also, watch for Ontario to emerge as the new Finland soon. The fishing is better in Canada, so I’m fine with this trend.
E.D. Hirsch has an important op-ed in The Times about reading. I don’t think the one-year drop is that big of a deal but he’s right about the larger trend:
The most credible analyses have shown that the chief causes were not demographics or TV watching, but vast curricular changes, especially in the critical early grades. In the decades before the Great Verbal Decline, a content-rich elementary school experience evolved into a content-light, skills-based, test-centered approach.