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Here are the top ten articles for the School Reform Site! These rankings are live and get reset at the beginning of each month, so check back often to see what your fellow visitors are most interested in!
1. Firing Teachers Won't Improve U.S. Education
Judging by responses to a recent NPR report on a lawsuit to make it easier to fire California teachers, many members of the public seem to see public school teachers as a species of self-sacrificing missionaries dedicated to acting as surrogate parents to every child who enters their classroom.
2. The Testing Opt-Out Movement
Parents and teachers distressed by the effect of ever-increasing state-mandated standardized testing of younger and younger children are at the heart of a grassroots movement to resist what they see as a mindless process that has little to do with education or the mental well-being of children.
3. Criticism of Reform Not Welcome
Top-tier reformers like Arne Duncan and state superintendents don't want to listen to the valid criticisms of parents, principals, and teachers. They meet complaints by taking the high ground, equating their untried, testing-heavy education reforms with the moral struggle for civil rights.
4. Educational Goals vs U.S. Culture
Efforts at school reform without an overhaul of U.S. cultural priorities are pie in the sky.
5. Comparing U.S. to Other Countries
International comparisons make interesting reading. They may even help planners to some extent, but in general, comparing the results of US education to that of other countries is probably meaningless. A more meaningful approach would be to compare state to state.
6. Children K-3 Need a Different Approach
The Common Core guidelines ignore differences between beginning readers K-3 and children who have learned to read. Not only that, but CC does nothing to change an entrenched instructional method that leaves 50% of U.S. school children unable to read at their intellectual level.
7. Parents in the Classroom
Should parents have the option of sitting in on lessons in the public school classroom?
8. Informational Texts vs Fiction
Parents and English teachers need to resist the propaganda regarding the reading and teaching of fictional literature that comes attached to every presentation of the Common Core Standards.
9. Arne Duncan
Like the other powerful school reformers who are presently changing the course of U.S. public education, Duncan comes from a privileged background and sees education as a platform for social engineering.
10. School Choice Prelude to Privatization
Supporters of school vouchers and charter schools claim they have the interest of all children at heart, but funneling tax money away from the public schools can only lead to the destruction of an adequate education for the majority of American children.
Be sure to visit the School Reform Archives for all the articles!
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