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3 Replies to “Barber On Data, Problems With Goldman’s Early Ed Data? Smarick On RTT, Whitmire’s Grand Tour, Teacher Pensions, The Long Game In MA, Joint Ventures In Higher Ed”
Let’s get beyond the esoteric arguments about RTTT’s merits or demerits. The data provide compelling evidence the program was a race to nowhere, not a race to or even near the top. Here’s a blog I just posted. Take a look. http://sandykress.weebly.com/blog/did-states-race-to-the-top
When I was a child in the 1940’s and 50’s, cancer was treated in a “hit or miss” way. A person who got the disease was given radiation, unproven medications or surgery but nothing worked. The diagnosis of cancer was almost always a death sentence; so much so that the patient was often not told that he had it. Gradually, however, scientists began to pinpoint different causes of cancer and to treat each one with a research-proven protocol. Soon we began to see some real progress that continues to this day.
The field of education is now where cancer was in the 1950’s. Attempts to improve it are hit or miss. RTTT was just one more expensive attempt to try different non-research-based approaches to realize positive changes for our students. Instead of relying on experts in the field, we yielded to businessmen, pundits and rich people who thought targeting teachers, giving lots of tests and closing schools would help. Why would it?
Authentic educational improvement will come when we look at the solid research and take it seriously. Mountains of proven research tell us that a child’s education is highly dependent on his health, the education of his parents, his family income, his interaction with his caregivers during the crucial first few years of life and the quality of his schooling as well as his out-of-school experiences. We also know that peers count as well as the characteristics of the learner.
I have confidence that sooner or later we’ll see some authentic reform. Until then, we’re just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic and spending a lot to do it. The situation will get worse before it gets better because we have yet to see the “unintentional” consequences of the profoundly stupid attempt to marginalize and insult the nation’s teachers.
Even the great Massachusetts has been flat on NAEP since 2009. Those who are focusing on “the long game” there ought as well to consider and respond to the stagnation in achievement of all subgroups over the past 5 years.