Is the Devil in the Data? II

After posting “Student Achievement: Is the Devil in the Data?” on Monday, I checked in with education historian and fellow blogger, Diane Ravitch. “These people with their data mania make me sick,” she opined. “Do they know any children?”

Sure they do. But how children develop and learn is infinitely more complex and confounding than building a digital infrastructure to further the quest for data. Which persists, with a vengeance, here in the nation’s largest school system. How dispiriting to wake up on Tuesday and see “New No. 2 at City Schools Sees More and . . . Read full article →

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Student Achievement: Is the Devil in the Data?

“The Future of Educational Data is Yours!” screamed the subject line of Education Sector’s Biweekly last Tuesday, as if selling the secret for eternal youth. The e-newsletter invited me to listen in on a webcast on data-driven improvement that very afternoon. Within minutes of the video’s start, the audio-visuals disappeared, leaving a transcript, complete with references to “inaudible” words, tacking along the bottom of the dark screen. “We are experiencing technical difficulty with the video feed,” appeared on the web page, “We should be back online soon.”

So much for the promise of technology.

Aneesh Chopra, . . . Read full article →

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Taking Care of Business

This week ‘s media face-off between education historian Diane Ravitch and Microsoft’s Bill Gates reminds me of how far we still have to go to bridge the gap between ECE and business. Ravitch, long-time champion of accountability and school choice, has lately switched gears, taking to task the Obama administration, Bloomberg and Joel Klein in NYC, and the “Billionaire Boys’ Club,” including Gates and Eli Broad, for their support of misguided and harmful education reform initiatives. [Note: Bridging Differences, her weekly thrust and parry with education reformer Deborah Meier, is a fascinating look into the minds . . . Read full article →

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Policy Change: How to Make it Happen II

This past fall, as the nation’s 56 million children were heading back to school, Nobel-Prize-winning economist James Heckman wrote a letter to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Reform. His question: What’s the best way to develop human capital to increase workforce capability, enhance productivity and social cohesion, and assure America’s economic competitiveness in the global economy? His answer: Invest in comprehensive early childhood development and education, from birth to age five, especially for our most vulnerable children and families.

Today, November 15, Congress is returning to Washington, and the time is running . . . Read full article →

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