As the curtains close on 2011, take a moment to remember the year that was on Flypaper by revisiting the most-read posts:
Mike explained how ED’s crusade for racial diversity may have some
unintended and unfortunate effects on America’s best magnet schools.
Checker took a moment to reflect on Osama bin Laden’s death and the lessons we should draw from the post-9/11 decade.
Penelope Placide, a ninth-grade student at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School
who worked at Fordham last spring as part of her school’s Corporate
Work Study Program, explained what she found when she surveyed her
classmates on what it takes to be a good teacher.
The final months of 2011 witnessed a flurry of scathing articles on the merits of online learning from The Nation, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and others. In this post, the head of the nation’s largest online learning company made his defense.
Mike tried to bring a sense of realism to what we might expect in
terms of improved student achievement for the 1 million poor students
entering Kindergarten this fall.
Mike and Checker teamed up to defend the Common Core and counter the counter-manifesto published by Jay Greene and Bill Evers, among others, in response to May’s Shanker Institute manifesto on a common curriculum. (Confused? Read on.)
Mike wondered what it would take to get all parents fired up for
education reform…and whether leaving NCLB alone might be the surest
Asking if teachers unions’ political influence has made local control
untenable earned Mike plenty of feedback from across the political
Mike argued that, despite what Alfie Kohn
may say, what works for affluent kids may not be right for students
growing up in poverty—a point Lisa Delpit made 25 years ago.
Disagreeing on policy is one thing, but Mike explained that Kevin
Carey crossed a line when he questioned Diane Ravitch’s personal
…and, to make it an even (odd?) 11 for 2011, the most tweeted post of the year:
Kathleen followed up Mike’s take on Alfie Kohn’s “pedagogy of
poverty” commentary by arguing the achievement gap is “really little
more than a practice gap.” But most critically, she included the
following factoid, which quickly went viral on Twitter: “By the time
s/he starts Kindergarten, the average middle class student has been
exposed to 1,700 hours of one-on-one reading. Do you know how many hours
of reading the average disadvantaged student has been exposed to by
Kindergarten? 25. That’s 1.4 percent of their middle class peers.”
Get ready for more insightful and entertaining commentary in 2012...and a new look for the blog. Happy New Year!