Recently, a former student called me to vent about the rules of married life and how these rules don’t match the vision that she has for herself as a change agent. As she talked about drowning in externally imposed expectations about being a married woman (sounding like a feminist just as much as sounding like … More Follow the Power: Who Controls the Conversation Around Reform?
A year ago, someone (let’s call her Amy) told me about a conversation she had with a school reformer. In short, the conversation was about why (and ultimately how) Black children need to be controlled. It was argued that on their own, they did not have the motivation or the character necessary for achievement. It … More Stop Giving Reform a Bad Name
This summer, I wrote a piece in favor of the Senate’s modified version of NCLB (as it is currently up for renewal). I summarized its position in the following statement… In light of last minute amendments, the (Senate’s) final version maintains NCLB’s position to disclose student performance and expose gaps by way of standardized tests. … More Education Next Poll Results, ECAA, and State Level Accountability
Last year, I was invited into a local radio station in Milwaukee to record my views on the state of Black children in Wisconsin. Here is what I said… In a statement about capitalism and democratic socialism, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr had this to say: You can’t talk about solving the economic problem of … More Is Education Reform a Matter of Cosmetics?
Part II of the series: The Need for a Deeper Dive Over the past few months, I have tweeted under the #biggerfish2fry umbrella arguing that I don’t want to pick sides in the polarized reform/anti-reform debate. I feel that each side has a compelling argument and each side has room for growth. But being challenged … More Reformers and Anti-Reformers: An Underwater Perspective
This post is the first of a two-part series. Recently, one of my favorite bloggers shared a reflection on the challenges of education reports. He argued that anytime education is in the publication’s title of the journal, you can count on there being an uncritical, fairly simplified review of the topic at hand. Aside from … More The Need for a Deeper Dive
Part III of the Series: Testing as a Civil Rights Strategy is Not about Achievement The best way to talk about equity is to use runners racing on a track as a metaphor. Equality would suggest that for fairness, all runners need to start at the same place in the race. But, equity would mandate … More And It Is Not About Equity Either
Part II of the Series: Testing as a Civil Rights Strategy is Not About Achievement If you put students across the socioeconomic spectrum together in the same room with each other and then gave them the same instruction, particularly the same improved instruction, the achievement gap would prevail. While this improved instruction should influence improvement … More It’s Also Not about Equality
I recently wrote “The Standardization Trap” where I talked about standardized tests in how they adversely influence instruction. One of my main arguments was against the notion of tests being used as the primary measure of achievement. In that students need access to literacies beyond those that are captured by standardized tests, centering them as the … More Is Test-Based Accountability a Civil Rights Issue?
One reason why we support charter schools and the school reform movement here in the Empowerment Network is that reform is theorized to radically serve all students without excuses. Minority and low-income students need a schooling model that is based on their achievement—not based on the achievement of others. I make this distinction frequently because … More The Standardization Trap