Categories:  'Education as an Economic Issue'  

Common Beliefs About the American Education System That Don’t Work

When students fall behind, what do you do? Students, especially poor minority and immigrant children, in Newark and Union City were performing abysmally. Newark tried [...]

When students fall behind, what do you do? Students, especially poor minority and immigrant children, in Newark and Union City were performing abysmally. Newark tried to reinvent the system under disruptive change and the leadership of out-of-town advisers, but instead ran into trouble and ultimately failed. Union City embraced the idea of gradual change and adjusted the system to better include all parties: students, teachers, and parents. For example, English learners are initially taught in their own language and gradually shifted to English instead of the sink-or-swim approach, and the system hired more teachers who spoke Spanish or had E.S.L. training.

All that goes to show that there is no miracle cure for education, or at least not taken out of context. Education researcher John Hattie identified five common ideas in public education that don’t work: achievement standards, achievement tests, school choice, small class size, and more money. The problem with these is that it attributes success to an arbitrary number, when a focus in individual growth and progress often and perhaps ironically leads to more success. For example, small class sizes are only effective if teachers are trained to collaborate more closely with students and offer more personalized feedback.

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Articles

Publication Date: 03/07/2015
Source: The Atlantic
Author: Conor Friedersdorf
Publication Date: 09/01/2016
Source: The New York Times
Author: David L. Kirp
Publication Date: 14/01/2017
Source: NPR
Author: Anya Kamenetz