Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lack of positive correlation between test scores and economies

Here is an excerpt of some of Bracey's work on the false claims about test scores from international comparisons and national economies; be sure to scroll down in this post to the quoted section from Bracey.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lessons from Freire

Henry Giroux offers lessons from Freire

An excellent excerpt:

"What Freire made clear is that pedagogy at its best is not about training in techniques and methods, nor does it involve coercion or political indoctrination. Indeed, far from a mere method or an a priori technique to be imposed on all students, education is a political and moral practice that provides the knowledge, skills and social relations that enable students to explore for themselves the possibilities of what it means to be engaged citizens, while expanding and deepening their participation in the promise of a substantive democracy. According to Freire, critical pedagogy afforded students the opportunity to read, write and learn from a position of agency - to engage in a culture of questioning that demands far more than competency in rote learning and the application of acquired skills. For Freire, pedagogy had to be meaningful in order to be critical and transformative. This meant that personal experience became a valuable resource that gave students the opportunity to relate their own narratives, social relations and histories to what was being taught. It also signified a resource to help students locate themselves in the concrete conditions of their daily lives, while furthering their understanding of the limits often imposed by such conditions"

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Freedom, decisions, consequences. . .and education

"Freedom becomes mature in confrontation with other freedoms, defending its rights in relation to parental authority, the authority of teachers, and the authority of the state. . . .It's in making decisions that we learn to decide. . . .Consequences are what make decision making a responsible process" (Freire, 1998, pp. 96-97).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Brilliant rebuttal of WfS from Ravitch

The Myth of Charter Schools

(FYI, Ravitch has historically been associated with traditional views of education, including supporting higher standards, more testing, and school choice. Recently, she has publicly reversed her stances in a controversial book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bad teachers?

Recommended from Truthout:

The Myth of the Bad Teacher

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

"Waiting for Superman": Misleading docu-ganda

See this challenge to the new documentary, "Waiting for Superman," from FairTest:

The Real Facts About Waiting for Superman

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Good article on the errors of evaluating teachers

From The Washington Post:

D.C. schools' evaluation rules, IMPACT, can't measure all the good teachers do

The Story of Stuff

This was mentioned in class:

The Story of Stuff

Teach for America and National Board Certification

Teach for America

Teach For America: A False Promise

National Board Certification

Assessing Accomplished Teaching: Advanced-Level Certification Programs

Mid-term/self-evaluation DUE 10/13/10

Submit as an ATTACHMENT in Word format the following by the end of class 10/13/10:

(1) A 1-2 page (double-spaced, 12 pt Times New Roman font, 1" margins) self-evaluation that details your evaluation of the quality of your work so far in this course, the key concepts you have learned so far, and a letter grade for your overall performance at mid-term.

(2) Mid-term (Choose ONE):

(a) Take a position on the place of sustainability in the K-12 curriculum. Include the following:

—Provide how you are defining "sustainability," including what elements of it you are considering.

—Establish through which educational philosophy and theory you are taking your position and why.

—Offer some specific examples of how sustainability should be implemented in K-12 education OR specific reasons it should not be included.


(b) Can "sustainability" be taught? Explain carefully why or why not by placing your argument within an educational philosophy and theory.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Interesting study about income distribution and equity

Per our discussions lately, and consider the Slate articles I have linked earlier:

The article is from Huffington Post, but the actual study is included and a link to the PDF is included.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Considering the coporate view of schools from TCR

Straight up Nonsense: Or, How to Diss Students with Differences

Look at the discussion of using a corporate lens to run schools and how Race to the Top funds are reinforce inequity. . .

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

For Friday: Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

Reviews related to MPCP

Dodenhoff, D. (2007, October). Fixing the Milwaukee public schools: The limits of parent-driven reform. Wisconsin Policy Research Institute Report, 20(8). Thiensville, WI: Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, Inc. Retrieved 6 August 2009 from the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute Website:

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Education Reconsidered: Beyond the Death of Critical Education

by: Stanley Aronowitz, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

A critical consideration of VAM

"Value-Added" Assessment: Tool for Improvement or Educational "Nuclear Option"?

Considering Jefferson

"The less wealthy people,... by the bill for a general education, would be qualified to understand their rights, to maintain them, and to exercise with intelligence their parts in self-government; and all this would be effected without the violation of a single natural right of any one individual citizen." --Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821. ME 1:73

"I have often thought that nothing would do more extensive good at small expense than the establishment of a small circulating library in every county, to consist of a few well-chosen books, to be lent to the people of the country, under such regulations as would secure their safe return in due time." --Thomas Jefferson to John Wyche, 1809. ME 12:282

"I think by far the most important bill in our whole code, is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom and happiness... The tax which will be paid for this purpose is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance." --Thomas Jefferson to George Wythe, 1786. ME 5:396

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Considering Emerson

I invite you to read Emerson's The American Scholar, but at least, look at a few points and consider what they mean for how we committed to public education:

"In this distribution of functions, the scholar is the delegated intellect. In the right state, he is, Man Thinking. In the degenerate state, when the victim of society, he tends to become a mere thinker, or, still worse, the parrot of other men's thinking."

"Each age, it is found, must write its own books; or rather, each generation for the next succeeding. The books of an older period will not fit this."

"Hence, instead of Man Thinking, we have the bookworm. Hence, the book-learned class, who value books, as such; not as related to nature and the human constitution, but as making a sort of Third Estate with the world and the soul. Hence, the restorers of readings, the emendators, the bibliomaniacs of all degrees."

"Books are the best of things, well used; abused, among the worst."

"Colleges, in like manner, have their indispensable office, — to teach elements. But they can only highly serve us, when they aim not to drill, but to create; when they gather from far every ray of various genius to their hospitable halls, and, by the concentrated fires, set the hearts of their youth on flame. Thought and knowledge are natures in which apparatus and pretension avail nothing. Gowns, and pecuniary foundations, though of towns of gold, can never countervail the least sentence or syllable of wit. Forget this, and our American colleges will recede in their public importance, whilst they grow richer every year."


See the news article and study about how race impacts school suspensions.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Debate over single-gender classrooms. . .

The evidence and ideology are clashing concerning single-gender classrooms. . .

Read this BLOG POST at Schools Matter. . .

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Group Members


Paige Davies

Khadijah Burks

Katie Cockrell

Ashley Tucker

No Child Left Behind

Monique Ositelu

Morgan Calhoun

Lauren St. Louis

Meredith Yingling

State Standards Compared

Kristen Layne

Margaret DuBose

Whitney Becker

Hannah Smith

Art/Music Programs

Spencer Beamer

Mollie Jenson

Emily McClimon

Jackie Wornom

Single Sex Classrooms

Caroline Lambert

Tim Baumann

Bethany Prince

Hilary Dahl

Teaching Methods

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Social Equality?


The United States of Inequality

Introducing the Great Divergence

The Usual Suspects Are Innocent

Challenges to learning styles theories

See this article, which raises concerns about learning style theories (a topic we'll address 9/13/10)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


A major debate in education is teacher accountability.

Read this BLOG and the subsequent comments (in which I participate) to see what people think and say about teachers.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

To consider. . .

After our discussion of "Eleven," I sense some strong interest among the class about poverty and education. . .See this Op-Ed from George Will and the primary study he discusses from Barton and Coley. . .

You may also find Parsing the Achievement Gap II (Braton & Coley, 2009) valuable. . .

And see page 4 in the most current SAT data

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The failure of "objectivity"

Consider this piece by Alfie Kohn in terms of what we assume about and expect from teachers:

Professors who profess

Friday, August 20, 2010

EdWeek Op-Ed on National Standards

See the link on the Furman web site for my commentary on national standards.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Fall 2011 MWF Schedule

Spring 2017 EDU 111-01
MWF 9:30AM - 10:20AM
HIP 106

Class Focus/Assignments Due
Jan 9-13
Week 1

Theme for English B," Langston Hughes

“Eleven,” Sandra Cisneros (google Drive)
Katherine Christie, Berea Middle, tutoring

Foucault, “The Means of Correct Training” (google Drive) 
Groups formed, topics chosen
Jan 16-20
Week 2
“Banking concept”; Freire, Ch .2 Pedagogy of the Oppressed (google Drive)

Topic 1: The Teaching Profession

 Topic 1, Freire continued
Jan 23-27
Week 3
Gorski book club discussions
Topic 2: Educational Philosophies

Educational Philosophies and Learning Theories (google Drive)
Jan 30 – Feb 3
Week 4

Topic 2 continued
Topic 3: Historical Foundations of Education
Thomas Jefferson on Education ( and “The American Scholar,” Ralph Waldo Emerson (
Feb 6-10
Week 5
Corridor of Shame (
Topic 4: Diversity, Multiculturalism, Poverty/Privilege, Class, and Race

“What These Children Are Like,” Ralph Ellison (
Feb 13-17
Week 6
Gorski book club discussions

Poverty and education, discussion continued
Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later continued
Feb 20-24
Week 7
Gorski book club discussions


LRC discussion

Workshop: Group Presentations
Group Presentations
Group Presentations
Feb 27 – Mar 3
Week 8
Group Presentations

Class discussion: Gorski's Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty: Strategies for Erasing the Opportunity Gap

But That's Just Good Teaching! The Case for Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, Gloria Ladson-Billings
Email to professor BEFORE class 3-5 key points from Gorski with evidence (quotes and/or page numbers). Have key points in class to discuss in small groups before opening discussion to the whole class.
Mar 4-12
Spring Break
Mar 13-17
Week 9
Topic 5: Legal, Political, and Financial
Topic 5 continued
Topic 5 continued

Jenny Colvin, LIBR
Mar 20-24
Week 10
Emdin book club discussion

Topic 5 continued
Ruby Payne, deficit perspective

Return of the Deficit, Curt Dudley-Marling

Mar 27-31
Week 11
Emdin book club discussion

Deficit perspective continued

Topic 6: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

Topic 6 continued
Apr 3-7
Week 12
Emdin book club discussion
Topic 7: Current Issues and the Future of Education
Topic 7 continued


Apr 10-14
Week 13

Hard Times cont.
Good Friday Holiday
Apr 17-21
Week 14
Easter Holiday
Emdin discuss and response due
Cited essay workshop
Tutoring share

Apr 24-28
Week 15
Virtual Schools Report

May 1, 2017

Monday 8:30AM - 11:00AM, HIP 106