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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. Class Size
Beware of smoke and mirror reasoning fostered by entrepreneurs whose principal agenda is the discrediting of the public schools and the rechanneling of public monies into the private business sector.
5. Educational Goals vs U.S. Culture
Efforts at school reform without an overhaul of U.S. cultural priorities are pie in the sky.
6. Common Core Mission Statement
Subjecting the Common Core mission statement to the kind of close reading recommended by the Standards reveals a goal that is lacking in the human element. Job skills are not enough to get a person through the disappointments, tragedies and humiliations of 60-80 years of living.
7. Cursive Writing Controversy
Cursive writing is just one style of handwriting, but many people seem to think that it is the only kind. North Carolina legislators have passed a law requiring that all fifth graders must be able to write in cursive.
8. School Principal's Job
The present system of placing everything from curriculum to lunchroom management under one supervisor is outdated and inefficient. The job of “principal” is too big for one person.
9. Parents in the Classroom
Should parents have the option of sitting in on lessons in the public school classroom?
10. Testing our Teachers
Everyone from the federal government, to state government on down wants to make certain our children are learning what they need to learn. But how do we know our teachers are capable of teaching what they need to teach?
Be sure to visit the School Reform Archives for all the articles!
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