Children Left Behind: Statistics and Abstractions

by Matthew Koslowski on September 23, 2009
in Essays

In This Essay

No Child Left Behind and the Spirit of Democratic Education”, Why School? by Mike Rose
Monday Metaphor: Growth, Learning with Impact by John Spencer
“Why Our Standards-Based Grading Sucks”, Learning with Impact by John Spencer
“MCAS scores fall shy of target”, Boston Globe, by James Vaznis
“Charter schools see more attrition”, Boston Globe by James Vaznis
“The next chapter on education reform”, Boston Globe by Gov. Deval Patrick
“Critical thinking? You need knowledge”, Boston Globe by Diane Ravitch
“These test-score jitters are a sign of high standards”, Boston Globe

Ideals and Realities

I had some great conversations about education and public policy with a friend. She would take the pragmatic side of the argument while I would take the idealistic side. While I would speak of sweeping visions of what education should be, she would want specific plans on implementation.

Our arguments usually ended with me saying that so much depended on implementation, that what I thought could really have a great impact, and her saying that no implementation would be perfect and I needed to get my head out of the clouds.

Implementing High Stakes Testing

Last week saw the publication of the test scores for the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, or MCAS. Part of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993, this standardized test fulfills the requirements of No Child Left Behind.

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On President Obama’s Address to Students

by Matthew Koslowski on September 9, 2009
in Essays

With all the controversy swirling around President Obama’s Address to Students, I was curious to see what he would say yesterday.

I wanted to form my own opinion of the address. I had avoided reading all of the advance press that I could. I knew there was talk of school boards voting to prevent its presentation in school; I knew conservative talking heads and shouting mouths had condemned the very idea without any advanced copy, had dismissed a political tradition; I knew there were parents who were thinking of keeping their children home as a boycott.

As much as I had anticipated the speech, I was disappointed by his speech. More than disappointed, in fact: the President’s speech made me angry.

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