EON #1 – Feb 02-12, 2013

by Jeff Bryant

Michelle Rhee And The Relentless Marketing Of Education ‘Reform’

“Michelle Rhee’s barnstorming of America this week … was a relentless PR campaign that would be the envy of any tobacco executive or gun manufacturer … Marketing truly is the frame to understand what’s driving Rhee, in particular, and the market-based ideas behind the education ‘reform’ movement, in general … But the hype can’t stand up to scrutiny.”

A Different Story About Public Education (Education Week)

Sam Chaltain asks, “What if the stories we told about schools were less about lagging dysfunction and more about healthy design … more about expertise … and a learning revolution that is already underway? … One such effort is now underway, via a 10-part video series that chronicles a year in the life of a remarkable public school in Boston, the Mission Hill School.”

The Secret to Fixing Bad Schools (The New York Times)

“The striking achievement of Union City, N.J. – bringing poor, mostly immigrant kids into the educational mainstream – argues for reinventing the public schools we have. Fear of a state takeover catalyzed a transformation. The district’s best educators were asked to design a curriculum based on evidence, not hunch. Learning by doing replaced learning by rote. Kids who came to school speaking only Spanish became truly bilingual … Teachers were urged to work together, the superstars mentoring the stragglers and coaches recruited to add expertise.”

A Warning to College Profs from a High School Teacher (The Washington Post)

High school teacher Kenneth Bernstein writes a letter to college professors saying, “If you, as a higher education professional, are concerned about the quality of students arriving at your institution, you have a responsibility to step up and speak out. You need to inform those creating the policies about the damage they are doing to our young people, and how they are undermining those institutions in which you labor to make a difference in the minds and the lives of the young people you teach as well as in the fields in which you do your research.”

Liberal Arts Majors Didn’t Kill the Economy (The Atlantic)

“There are two schools of thought about why freshly-minted grads have had such a tough time recently. You can blame the smarty-pants majors or blame the economy … there’s no correlation the past decade between the share of grads in the most maligned majors and the unemployment rate for college grads … In other words, too much demand for liberal arts didn’t kill the job market. Too little aggregate demand did.”

Arne Duncan On Early Education: Access Will Be Key Piece Of Obama’s Second Term (The Huffington Post)

“U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan … reiterated his plans for a big push on early childhood education in the second term … ‘We have to continue to invest in early childhood education … That’s arguably the most important investment we can make.'”

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