Education Opportunity Network

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5/13/2014 – Who Betrayed Brown?

THIS WEEK: Scale Pre-K Legislation … Teaching Grit Is Wrong … Digital Reading Harms Comprehension … Pisa Harms Education … Deep Learning


Who Betrayed The Legacy Of Brown V. Board?

By Jeff Bryant

“60 years after Brown v. Board, what passes for advancements in civil rights is often grand gestures of ‘progress’ … that amount to empty symbolism, while more direct harm is done to minority school children every day … To get unstuck from the racists policies governing school access and resources, some have suggested we change the focus to income instead … But today’s political leaders are quick to follow a policy that not only retreats on racial equity and accomplishes very little to nothing to advance achievement for the majority of students.”
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We Can Scale High-Quality Public Pre-K – Can We Scale Effective Legislating?

Ed Central

At the blog of the New America Foundation, Conor P. Williams writes, “While skeptics have stymied federal action by arguing that high-quality pre-K programs are too difficult to scale beyond intense, “boutique” pre-K programs like the famous Perry Project, officials in Boston, Oklahoma, and Washington, D.C. (among other places) have gone ahead and expanded their programs anyway … Analysis of Tulsa, Oklahoma’s program, for instance, showed academic benefits through third grade (and further research is planned to check for impacts at eighth grade). The effects were particularly strong for the math scores of boys and students who qualified for federal free- and reduced- price lunch. The results are similarly good in Boston. The study found that pre-K helped all children, but was particularly helpful in several cases. It ‘closed the school readiness gap among poor and non-poor children in mathematics,’ and eliminated early reading and math gaps between Latino and White children … At this point, we have more than enough evidence that pre-K programs can be effectively scaled … What policy folks need now, though, is to figure out how to scale effective legislating.”
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Teaching Kids ‘Grit’ Is All The Rage. Here’s What’s Wrong With It.

The New Republic

“Inspired by the field of positive psychology, character education at KIPP focuses on seven character strengths … There are three major problems with the new character education. The first is that we do not know how to teach character. The second is that character-based education is untethered from any conception of morality. And lastly, this mode of education drastically constricts the overall purpose of education … Gone are any traditional concerns with good and evil or citizenship and the commonweal. Gone, too, the impetus to bring youngsters into the fold of a community that is larger than themselves.”
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Digital Reading Poses Learning Challenges for Students

Education Week

“Comprehension may suffer when students read on the digital devices now flooding into classrooms, an emerging body of research suggests … Schools have experienced a huge influx of digital learning tools in recent years, with nearly 1 in 3 public and private school students in the United States now using a school-issued mobile computing device … Researchers now say that while many digital texts do a good job of motivating and engaging young people, such texts also pose a number of problems … Researchers have documented students’ struggles with comprehension when reading Internet-based texts on computers, although the literature on how reading e-books on computers is inconclusive. And while similar research on mobile devices is just emerging, there are worrisome signs … While acknowledging the promise of the new digital technologies, researchers say the limited knowledge of how digital reading affects comprehension should warrant a cautious approach.”
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OECD And Pisa Tests Are Damaging Education Worldwide – Academics

The Guardian

Prominent scholars from around the world write, “We are frankly concerned about the negative consequences of the Pisa rankings … Pisa has contributed to an escalation in such testing and a dramatically increased reliance on quantitative measures … has caused a shift of attention to short-term fixes designed to help a country quickly climb the rankings, despite research showing that enduring changes in education practice take decades … takes attention away from the less measurable or immeasurable educational objectives … is naturally biased in favour of the economic role of public [state] schools … harms our children and impoverishes our classrooms.”
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Deep Learning

Academe Magazine

A new study concludes, “‘If graduates recalled having a professor who cared about them as a person, made them excited about learning, and encouraged them to pursue their dreams, their odds of being engaged at work more than doubled, as did their odds of thriving in all aspects of their well-being’ … Education, as we all should know, cannot be reduced to ‘outcomes’ or measurements. Yet it is ‘outcomes’ and ‘assessment’ that have become the rallying cries of state governments, boards of trustees, and accrediting bodies nationwide. They are reducing education to training and making it a sterile and boring task–simply because they cannot understand the unquantifiable and/or are unwilling to trust in it … Many of us members of American faculties have been advocating this sort of discussion for decades, getting nowhere as corporate ideas of vertical management have seeped into education instead.”
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Category: EON Newsletters

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