Saturday, August 16, 2008

Education Myths are Meant to Be Broken

One of the great education blogs,, continues to cast a critical eye on programs meant to improve our schools. In one recent story, schoolsmatter exposed the now wildly profitable corporate tutoring programs required under NCLB, that received little oversight from cashed strapped state agencies. It was no accident. And now those profitable tutoring classes have been shown to provide no real benefit. Can’t you just smell the money?

This next story, in one fell swoop, blows a few myths right out of the water. These are myths built around the idea that for profit business solutions to education are the answer. Not so fast:

The number of myths on which so many public policies are built raise serious
questions about whether those policies have any hope of succeeding. In
education, there are a number of myths that have been repeated so incessantly by
press and politicians that they have become “true” in the public’s mind.

• Business uses performance pay, so schools should do the same • Schools
are violent• Parents and students are fleeing public for private schools•
Schools should use the kind of numerical goals that business uses• Charter
schools outperform public schools.

In fact, business generally avoids performance pay, schools are the safest places children frequent, private school enrollment is declining, business recommends against numerical goals, and public schools generally perform better than charter schools.

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