Friday, February 10, 2012

Positions on School Reform VI

Note: A review of published positions on school reform: a speech from Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan; Diane Ravitch’s The Death and Life of the Great American School System; Frederick Hess’s The Same Thing Over and Over; Charles Payne’s So Much Reform, So Little Change; Anthony Byrk ad others’ Organizing School for Improvement; and Valerie Kinloch’s Harlem On Our Minds. I will review each position in several consecutive blogs. RayS.

 Quote: “[Valerie Kinloch] is an associate professor of education at Ohio State University and a recipient of the 2010 Scholars of Color Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association.”

Quote: “…speak to the ways in which I define literacy, which has moved from a quite narrow to a much more expansive conception: as acts of, practices in, and activities around reading, writing, and speaking…and a variety of media.” From: Harlem On Our Minds.

Comment: Well, there you have six perspectives on how to improve education. Much of it is criticism. Some of it consists of  theories for suggested improvement. Rarely do these critics discuss the social problems with which teachers must deal in every aspect and level of American society. Are schools truly failing? Or do they exist in conditions that almost guarantee failure? I can hear the critics now saying, “Never mind that. You as a teacher must make children successful regardless of the conditions under which they and their teachers work.” A daunting task. RayS.

Title: “School Reform in the United States: Frames and Representations.” Books and Statements reviewed by Patrick Shannon. Reading Research Quarterly (January/February/ March 2012), 109-118.

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