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What standardized tests should assess

If you fly, thank Myron Tribus for helping make your flight safer. He played a major role in the development of the equipment that keeps airliner wings free of ice. Myron was a captain in the Army Air Force during World War II. Later, he was a gas turbine design engineer for General Electric, dean of […]

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Are Charter Schools Really Innovative?

Peter Ruddy Wallace was the speaker of Florida’s House of Representatives years ago when charter-school legislation was adopted. He saw charters as incubators of innovation and experimentation. So did I. Indeed, not long thereafter, I accepted an invitation to serve on the board of governors of a new charter school serving a built-from-scratch new town in […]

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Standards Express

Standards Express

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Education Reform: 22 Problems, and a Proposal

The “standards and accountability” education reform effort begun in the 1980s at the urging of leaders of business and industry, is failing. The reform message, powerfully reinforced by mainstream media, is simple:

1. America’s schools are, at best, mediocre.
2. Teachers and students deserve most of the blame.
3. As a corrective, rigorous subject-matter standards and tests must be put in place.
4. Market forces must be brought to bear to pressure teachers and students to work to those standards.

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Maybe We Should Just Go Back Outside and Teach

In the 500 years since Columbus’s Big Misunderstanding in the “West Indies”, our education system has come a long way.  After manhandling the country away from the natives (who’s “schools” probably consisted of ridiculously worthless lessons like feeding your family, shelters that last, and building fires without zippos, anyway) we’ve managed to construct an institution that has […]

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Peyton Manning Can Call Audibles, Can You?

I’m not afraid to admit it. Standardization — it scares me. It’s the monster under the bed, lurking in the closet, rumbling around in the attic of my mind.  Its the haunting moans in the walls of the profession, a harbinger of doom. In fact at times, in states of sleep deprived overly-dramatic hyperbolization, it […]

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Science Goals for Students

So what is it that we want students to gain from a k-12 science education? What are the goals we should constantly work to promote in students? Considering that rote memorization of scientific ideas leads to little understanding, I have identified ten goals for students that focus on life learning skills, and other traits that […]

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Quick! Put All Your Eggs in This Basket!

E. D. Hirsch can see the profound problems of our times, but his vision for how to solve them is firmly encased in the black and white world of Donna Reed.

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