An excerpt from ‘What Lies Ahead for America’s Children and Their Schools’
Recent stories in the popular press have featured children burdened with an enormous amount of homework, three hours or more per night. Are these students’ experiences typical or rare?
Teachers who seek to improve their own practice are primarily guided by common sense, intuition, word of mouth, personal experience, ideologically laden ideas about progressive or traditional instruction, the guidance of mentors, and folk wisdom—not a body of knowledge and practice that has been rigorously tested for its efficacy.
Shanghai has a school system that excludes most migrant students, the children of families that have moved to the city from rural areas of China. And now for three years running, the OECD and PISA continue to promote a distorted picture of Shanghai’s school system by remaining silent on the plight of Chinese migrant children.
It’s heartening to note that as the use of ability grouping is increasing a new generation of researchers is bringing sophisticated statistical techniques (and open minds) to bear on questions involving both ability grouping and tracking.
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