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Monday, April 18, 2011

What is The Background of Public Education Reformers?

An interesting article on the background of education reformers in Sunday's New York Times:

Ten years ago, the No Child Left Behind bill was passed by the House of Representatives, 384 to 45, marking the first step toward a major transformation of public education in America. The law has ushered in what its supporters like to call the “reform movement.”
For the first time, human bias was removed from student assessment and replaced with scientific accountability systems.
No longer did teachers’ subjective opinions of children distort things. Scores on standardized tests became the gold standard.
No longer did a person with a clipboard have to spend days observing a school to determine whether it was any good. Because of the law, it is now possible for an assistant secretary of education to be sitting in his Washington office and, by simply studying a spreadsheet for a few minutes, know exactly how a school in Juneau is performing.
Each year since then, researchers have found new things to assess. The New York City Department of Education, a pioneer in the science of value-added assessment, can now calculate a teacher’s worth to the third decimal point by using a few very long formulas. (No word yet on whether department researchers have developed a very long formula to assess chancellors and mayors.)
For a while it appeared that the Republicans were way ahead on the reform front, but in 2007, Whitney Tilson, a hedge fund manager and Democratic fund-raiser, founded Democrats for Educational Reform to help his party catch up. By all accounts, it has worked. Today, the consensus is that there is little difference between President Obama and former President George W. Bush when it comes to education policy. Nor is it easy to distinguish differences between the secretary of education under Mr. Bush, Margaret Spellings, and the current secretary, Arne Duncan.
Those who call themselves reformers are a diverse group, men and women of every political stripe and of every race and ethnicity.
But there is one thing that characterizes a surprisingly large number of the people who are transforming public schools: they attended private schools....... Click here to read the rest of the article.

1 comment:

Gangadhar said...

A very good article...
To know more about education just click here.

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