Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Education deform ushers in new era of school segregation

Education deform roundup for January 25

1) Two new social scientific studies show how the implementation of school "choice" has resulted in an alarming re-segregation of America's schools.  Kevin G. Welner, writing at the Washington Post's Answer Sheet blog sums up the studies: "...charter schools across the country [were found] to be substantially more racially isolated than traditional public schools." Study 1, and study 2.  Writes Welner, author of the second study:
Our study provides a comprehensive examination of enrollment patterns in schools operated by private corporations and finds these schools to be segregated by race, family income, disabilities and English language learner status. As compared with their local public school districts, these schools operated by Education Management Organizations, or EMOs, are substantially more segregated, and the strong segregative pattern found in 2001 is virtually unchanged through 2007.
2) Also from the Answer Sheet blog, Diane Ravitch writes about  "The pitfalls of putting economists in charge of education":
"...don't you think there is a certain kind of madness in thinking that economists who never set foot in a classroom can create a statistical measure to tell us how best to educate children? It seems some will never be satisfied until they have a technical process to override the judgments of those who work in schools and are in daily contact with teachers and children. I don't know of any other nation in the world that is so devoted to this effort to turn education into a statistical problem that can be solved by a computer. It is not likely to end well."
3) Adam Bessie, writing at Truth-out.org, advises "Let's Not "Reform" Public Education, tells the familiar tale of how "The corporate reformers have reached the hearts of the public, blinding them with a beautifully rendered fiction."

UPDATE: Waiting for Superman left out of Oscar competition, called "one of the biggest snubs in [documentary category] history," despite commissioning "as well-run an Oscar campaign as you can have for a documentary."

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