Reform needs Reform: How Testing is Sucking the Breath out of Teaching and Learning

Educational reform desperately needs reform.  Reform in education today is in the hands of Federal programs including the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and the Race to the Top Fund of 2009.  Although states can submit “flexibility requests” to receive waivers on some aspects of the NCLB, the reforms that have been affecting American schools have based everything on testing students to “measure” their achievement in math and reading, as well as science and social studies.  … Read more

NCTQ Prepares its Hit on Schools of Education

Guest Post by Anthony Cody

Our political system has deteriorated to such a degree that policymaking in the education arena has come to resemble the selection of “hits” chosen for airplay by 1950s DJs. Back in the day, the main mode of advertising to promote the sale of records was to have the songs played on the radio. The “Payola” scandal occurred in the 1950s when it was discovered that many of the DJs were routinely making decisions about what to play not based on the quality of the music, but on bribes they were receiving from record companies.… Read more

NCTQ Study of Assessment in Teacher Preparation Courses Flunks

In May, 2012, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) issued a report entitled: What Teacher Education Programs Teach About K – 12 Assessment.   Anthony Cody mentioned this study in a recent post entitled Payola Policy: NCTQ Prepares its Hit on Schools of Education.

The title intrigued me, so I went over to the NCTQ website, and read and studied the report which is about what education courses teach about assessment.  This post is my review of the NCTQ study, and I hope after you finish reading the post you will realize how bogus reports like these are, especially given the quality of research that professors of education have been doing for decades.  … Read more

Part II: Will the Debate over Evolution End Soon?

We introduced this topic yesterday and referred to an Associated Press story, in which Richard Leakey suggests that the debate over evolution will end sometime over the next 15 to 30 years.  Leakey’s thesis was:

If you get to the stage where you can persuade people on the evidence, that it’s solid, that we are all African, that color is superficial, that stages of development of culture are all interactive,” Leakey says, “then I think we have a chance of a world that will respond better to global challenges.

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Part I. Will the Debate over Evolution End Soon?

 

Richard Leakey says that looking at the past the way paleontologists and anthropologist do can teach us much about the future.  He points out that extinction is one of the most common types of phenomena observed in nature, and that extinctions are related to environmental change.  He suggests that environmental change is controlled by climate change, and now, humans are at the center of accelerating, indeed creating the kind of changes in climate that we see on Earth today.… Read more