Rocky Raccoon and friend woke me up at 4:30 AM as they sampled the goodies from the bird feeder outside my back door. Unable to go back to sleep I posted pictures of him on my Facebook page and then starting reading other posts. This was a mistake because it is almost an hour later and I haven’t gone back to bed! I found a link to a New Yorker article by Nicholas Lemann where he suggests that the idea that the entire American school system is broken is hyperbole. Here’s his final paragraph:
Blogs to Read in the Middle of the Night
We have a lot of recent experience with breaking apart large, old, unlovely systems in the confidence of gaining great benefits at low cost. We deregulated the banking system. We tried to remake Iraq. In education, we would do well to appreciate what our country has built, and to try to fix what is undeniably wrong without declaring the entire system to be broken. We have a moral obligation to be precise about what the problems in American education are—like subpar schools for poor and minority children—and to resist heroic ideas about what would solve them, if those ideas don’t demonstrably do that. ♦Read more http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2010/09/27/100927taco_talk_lemann#ixzz10LKWItPb
From there I checked what is becoming my favorite blog “The Answer Sheet” written by Valerie Strauss. Her post about Oprah Winfrey’s recent show that applauded the new movie Waiting for Superman states, “So yesterday when she aired the show called “Waiting For Superman – The Movie That Can Transform America’s Schools,” her viewers should have known that they were watching an entertainment show with a show woman — not an educator — as host.” She was not impressed with the one sided approach to discussing education. Check out her blog at http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/.
This particular post led me to another blogger, Anthony Cody. He is a nationally board certified teacher who speaks out strongly about a variety of education issues. It seems he was blocked from the Education Nation Facebook page for a bit as were others who did not readily agree with the ideas presented on the NBC show. His blog is titled “Living in Dialogue” and you can find it at http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/. He suggests more than once that educators must become more vocal in the current national discussion about our schools.
I find these blogs lead me to research on education that often doesn’t get much press because they counter the arguments put forth by the advocates of charter schools, blaming unions for every education problem, and connecting teacher evaluation to student test scores. Read another Valerie Strauss blog on that last topic:“Problems With the Use of Student Test Scores to Evaluate Teachers”–its research that shows that this practice is not valid.
Good night or should I say good morning!