sexta-feira, 15 de julho de 2011

Reforming the Education Reformers


Why are increasing numbers of reformers relying on inflated examples like these? "Most likely for the same reason that urban educators from an earlier generation made excuses: successfully educating large numbers of low-income kids is very, very hard." If you read Tough's Whatever It Takes carefully, it becomes very clear that there are no shortcuts and no silver bullets.

Tough still defends the current reform agenda: renegotiating teachers' contracts, providing more incentives to bring the best teachers to poor neighborhoods, extending the school day and school year for low-income students. But those measures alone won't do it, Tough argues, and here he makes his strongest point:

Reformers also need to take concrete steps to address the whole range of factors that hold poor students back... It means supplementing classroom strategies with targeted, evidence-based interventions outside the classroom: working intensively with the most disadvantaged families to improve home environments for young children; providing high-quality early-childhood education to children from the neediest families; and, once school begins, providing low-income students with a robust system of emotional and psychological support, as well as academic support... School reformers often portray these efforts as a distraction from their agenda— something for someone else to take care of while they do the real work of wrestling with the teachers' unions. But in fact, these strategies are essential to the success of the school-reform movement. Pretending they are not is just another kind of excuse.


Mother Jones

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