Another Key Figure Changes His Mind: Challenges the Test-and-Punish Conventional Wisdom

“We need the best and brightest teachers: The proposed ‘stronger’ law undermines collective bargaining that protects teachers from politics and favoritism and has been crucial to improvement in compensation and benefits… Unionization is not the problem. There are no unions in many of the nation’s worst educational performing states. All schools, charter or traditional, must pay competitive salaries and benefits to attract experienced, skilled teachers who can succeed with children.”

janresseger

Over half a century ago, in The Affluent Society, economist John Kenneth Galbraith coined the term “the conventional wisdom” to describe “the ideas which are esteemed at any time for their acceptability.”  “Because economic and social phenomena are so forbidding, or at least so seem… within a considerable range (the individual)…. may hold whatever view of this world he finds most agreeable…” “The conventional wisdom is not the property of any political group.… the consensus is exceedingly broad. Nothing much divides those who are liberals by common political designation from those who are conservatives.”  In other words the conventional wisdom about hard and complicated subjects in public policy is made up of what we all believe because everybody else seems to believe it.

The idea that school achievement can be fixed in our poorest communities by testing students and punishing so-called “failing” schools where test scores are low, by…

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Dear NYT, Better Teachers? How About Better Journalism?

Educators & Media

academic freedom isn't free

The New York Times has posed at Room for Debate: How to Ensure and Improve Teacher Quality. As an opinion blog designed to offer debate, and thus differing perspectives, we should expect a spectrum of voices—at least that is the appearance.

So let’s start with a broader perspective: Voices in the media addressing education are inversely proportional to the expertise in the field:

Across MSNBC, CNN, And Fox, Only 9 Percent Of Guests In Education Segments Were Educators. On segments in which there was a substantial discussion of domestic education policy between January 1, 2014, and October 31, 2014, there were 185 guests total on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox, only 16 of whom were educators, or 9 percent. Media Matters

Therefore, I think it is fair—and not ad hominem—to clarify the background and experiences of the five debaters selected by the NYT to frame the national debate about teacher…

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Stand Up and Speak Out for Public Education

Many voices need to be heard in support of public, I mean really public, education. #EdBlogNet

Opine I will

All across the Empire State thousands upon thousands of parents, students, business leaders, and teachers are standing up and speaking out for public education.  The message is clear. We will not let Governor Cuomo destroy public education in New York.9/11 Memorial Run/Wall in Manhattan

Andrew Cuomo, our ‘self-proclaimed student advocate’, is holding school funding hostage in his maniacal quest to sell off public education to the highest bidder. An integral part of his plan is to falsely proclaim our schools and teachers as failures.

We have all witnessed Cuomo do the following;

  • shifting needed funding towards the private sector.
  • handing over public schools buildings room by room to privately own charter schools.
  • wrenching local control away from communities.
  • demanding unfunded mandates that are driving public school districts into fiscal distress.
  • destroying teacher preparation programs.
  • whittling away at teacher education centers.
  • demanding standards that are not age appropriate for students.
  • forcing children to undergo hours…

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A Drink of Water

#ImmigrantRightsAreHumanRights

Views from Alongside a Border

The Rio Grande Valley is bounded to the east by the Gulf of Mexico, to the south by the Rio Grande River, and to the north and west by an enormous desert of thorny shrubs.

It is the eastern edge of America’s southern border.

(Photo by Mara Posada)

There are two highways that cross this border region. About eighty miles to the north of the Rio Grande, the US government has set up permanent inspection stations on these highways, effectively adding a second border to the Rio Grande. People travelling north along highway 77 or highway 281 are stopped and inspected by border patrol agents, who are part of the national security apparatus.

An immigrant who does not have the documentation that the US government requires for their travel north may choose to leave the highway at a point before these checkpoints, and set out through the brush country in…

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