Common Core supporters should be showcasing lessons that represent a sharp break with the skills-driven, all-texts-are-created-equal approach that has come to dominate too many classrooms.
Balanced literacy is neither “balanced” nor “literacy,” at least not in the sense that poor kids taught to read via this approach will end up literate.
Our elite universities, should they wish, could end epic oversharing, help student writing, and improve college readiness in one fell swoop.
Teachers are expected to be all things to (almost) all youngsters, but most acknowledge that, while technology and small classes surely help, they do not feel like they’re differentiating all that well.
New York’s small schools have produced powerful results for students—many of whom fall squarely within the cohort of the “underprepared.”
What should we do with these students while they are in high school? What education offerings would benefit them the most?
Abundant research supports content-oriented curricula in the “softer” subjects of English Language Arts and social studies/history.
Two giants of the blogosphere, Jonathan Chait of New York magazine and Ta-Nehisi Coates of the Atlantic, have been engaging in an epic debate this month over the concept of “the culture of poverty.”
Is exactly what we should be telling a lot of high school students.
Montgomery County, Md. will overhaul its struggling alternative school program using personalized, competency-based, and online components.
Complexities threaten implementation
Implementation moves steadily forward
Those who criticize the Common Core standards for asking kids to estimate the answer to a math problem get a few things wrong.
For thirty years, Don Hirsch has tried to persuade policymakers to undertake perhaps the one reform we’ve never tried: the widespread adoption of a coherent, sequential, content-rich curriculum. What might change the outcome over the next thirty years?
What could be more tedious and uninspiring than efforts such as “Students are taught to generate their own questions” and “Students are taught to become aware of what they do not understand”? These metacognitive strategies turn the reading experience into a stilted, halting activity, making the content students must learn a boring rehearsal. People love the humanities because of the content of them, not because of the interpretation of them.
Any gains provided by a massive new investment in preschool will quickly fade away if Mayor de Blasio doesn’t also tackle New York City’s mediocre elementary schools.
Much of what we read in Adam Bryant’s “Corner Office” columns would certainly justify Paul Tough’s applause for persistence and grit. But though certainly gritty and persistent, all of the subjects of the column show signs of having a remarkable background in knowledge acquisition (e.g. professional parents, high SATs, college degrees) probably earned their success by putting their grit at the service of learning.
We can only hope that policymakers, teachers, and administrators understand the limitations of the grit hypothesis so we don’t disadvantage yet another generation of hard-working, gritty, and determined poor kids by not teaching them what they need to know to succeed.
The New York Times editorial board yesterday weighed in on why American students hate math and how instruction needs to be changed.
A front-page article in the New York Times looks at efforts to enroll more minority students in Advanced Placement classes. Andy Mollison wrote for Ed Next about the explosive growth of the AP program and at whether the high academic standards of the program are being maintained.
A panel at the Manhattan Institute considers declines in civic knowledge and how things can be turned around.
This testimony was presented in Ohio by Ze’ev Wurman of the Hoover Institution on November 20, 2013.
I”ve long said that the Common Core strikes me as an intriguing effort that could do much good. The past couple weeks, I”ve been struck by how fragile the effort is starting to seem and how clumsily the Common Core”ites seem to be responding to challenges. In the spirit of public service, here”s some advice.
There is no Common Core curriculum, radical or otherwise.
Does the progressive vision of schooling work to help poor children gain the skills and knowledge and confidence and connections that will allow them to climb the ladder into the middle class?