Ability Grouping By Subject, Re-Visited || John Merrifield || January 13, 2015
Hurray for the New York Times. I never thought I’d say that. But they earned it with their focus on the importance of ability grouping by subject, though their June 4 article fails to emphasize the critical ‘by subject‘ element that could cause many readers to confuse critical, non-elitist, multi-dimensional ability grouping by subject with similar-sounding, but very different ‘tracking’ that pretends that children are one-dimensionally weak, strong, or average, rather than the multi-dimensional people, with strengths and weaknesses, that are the human norm. Continue reading
Persistent Failure to Address the Roots of the Low Performance Problem || John Merrifield || February 16, 2015
A recent journey through my archives produced a 2009 Ronald Wolk (founder of Education Week) article marking the 25th Anniversary of the first ‘Nation at Risk’ report. Wolk discussed the five assumptions he thought caused us to fail to address the Roots of the Low Performance Problem. I will summarize the five assumptions, comment, and add one to the list. Continue reading
Nation at Risk VI, Including a Partial Misunderstanding of the Risk || John Merrifield || March 2, 2015
Here it is, ‘Nation at Risk’ VI: America’s Skills Challenge: Millennials and the Future. How many prominent, well-grounded proclamations of doom and gloom do we need before we widely recognize that the changes we’ve made since Nation at Risk I in 1983, plus four more along the way, have not (despite massively increased per pupil funding) addressed the root causes of persistently poor academic outcomes? Continue reading
Arons, Stephen. 1997. Short Route To Chaos: Conscience, Community, and the Re-constitution of American Schooling. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.
Gatto, John Taylor. 1993. The Exhausted School. Oxford: The Oxford Village Press.
McCluskey, Neal P. 2007. “Why We Fight: How Public Schools Cause Social Conflict.” Cato Institute Policy Analysis #587. http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa587.pdf
Powell, Arthur G, Eleanor Farrar and David K Cohen. 1985. The Shopping Mall High School: Winners and Losers in the Educational Marketplace (Boston: Houghton Mifflin). Continue reading
Another Money Doesn’t Matter Story: Sadly, this one Includes Charter Schools || John Merrifield || January 27, 2015
This is just a quick take on a significant study; mostly to bring it to your attention. The report compared the rate of return on Traditional Public School (TPS) and Chartered Public School (CPS) spending. The study compared the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) scores of TPS and CPS per dollar spent on each, controlling for socioeconomic characteristics. The bottom line is that the CPS rate of return is higher. But it seems to reveal, or confirm, a sad truth. In about half of the states in the sample Continue reading