NSTA Has Serious & Extensive Concerns About Achieve’s Next Generation Science Standards

Standards development, such as in science, is a big enterprise, and one that will result in huge profits for corporations, and will cost school districts billions to carry out over the next few years.  For the past two years, Achieve and the Carnegie Corporation have teamed up to write a framework, and a set of science standards for K-12 schools.  The science standards were recently flashed on the screens of our computers for about three weeks so that we could give Achieve feedback that they no doubt will embrace in their next draft which will be published in the fall.… Read more

Should All Students Be Held to a Single Set of K-12 Education Standards?

Should all U.S. students meet a single set of K-12 education standards?  In a democracy should all students be held to the same standards?

This was the question that Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute  and  Jay Greene, head of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas  debated in recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

Yes, says Finn; no claims Greene.

First I’ll describe the positions of Dr.… Read more

The Hip-Hop Generation: Implications for Teacher Preparation

The current wave of reform in science education, including teacher preparation, is not in the best interests of the diverse cultures that make up the population of the United States. The reform is standards- and test-based, and seeks to create schooling that ignores differences in people, and instead creates an outline (read that “standards”) of what is to learned for all students regardless of where they live.

While doing research for The Art of Teaching Science, I became aware of Dr.

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Why Teacher Education is Important and How to Make It Better

Teacher education is more important today than it has been in half a century.  Education policy and practice are being radically transformed in American education, and teacher preparation programs in colleges and universities are being pressured to fall in line with the marketization and privatization of K-12 schools.  In teacher preparation this is evident by looking at proposals to privatize or deregulate the education of teachers, in the increasing reductive entry and exit tests for prospective educators, in differential funding to those teacher preparation institutions whose students score higher on high-stakes examinations, and the increasing growth of home schooling because of various reasons, but perhaps the desire to reject formal schooling and indeed professionally educated teachers (Apple, 2008).… Read more

Charter Schools: Education’s 21st Century Philospher’s Stone?

Charter schools are seen as a cure-all to raise test scores of American students. It kind of like a philosopher’s stone, or a 19th century elixir, to serve as an antidote for the ills of traditional public schools. Many policymakers are motivated by the delusion that choice and competition is the answer to solving problems facing our schools.

Public schools are the only agent that can create a sense of community among diverse communities from which students come.… Read more