Archive | September, 2011

The latest in free-market educational solutions — updated with 2 responses – The Answer Sheet – The Washington Post


Read the back and forth between Peter Smagorinsky (University of Georgia) and Economics Professor Cory Koedal (University of Missouri).  Below an excerpt from Smagorinsky’s criticism of Koedal’s report.  It is followed by Koedal’s response and Samgorinsky’s response to response. To Koedel, who is the latest in the current wave of educational experts who have never taught in a […]

Continue reading

School ‘Reform’: A Failing Grade by Diane Ravitch | The New York Review of Books


Diane Ravitch reviews Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools and As Bad as They Say: Three Decades of Teaching in the Bronx. This debate on reform discourse in the US [particularly the implications of the NCLB act] needs to be closely watched/heard by educators elsewhere who are enamoured of the possibilities of […]

Continue reading

A Highlight from “Multiple Perspectives on Mathematics Teaching and Learning (International Perspectives on Mathematics Education, V. 1)”


The seemingly contradictory discourse of competition, markets, and choice on the one hand and accountability, performance objectives, standards, national testing, and national curriculum have created such a din that it is hard to hear anything else. As I have shown in Cultural Politics and Education (Apple, 1996), these tendencies oddly reinforce each other and help […]

Continue reading

Roadmap to Winning an NCLB Waiver – Politics K-12 – Education Week


Politics of NCLB… Although Education Secretary Arne Duncan holds the ultimate power in choosing which states get a No Child Left Behind waiver and which don’t, a group of outside judges will wield a tremendous amount of influence in deciding states’ fates. And now, the very important peer review guidebook is out from the department, […]

Continue reading

Vito Perrone Sr., Who Fought Standardized Tests, Dies at 78 – NYTimes.com


  Vito Perrone Sr., a leading advocate for humanistic, regimentation-free public education and a mentor to several generations of liberal reformers who fought the tide of standardized testing, died on Aug. 24 in Cambridge, Mass. He was 78. The cause was congestive heart failure, said his son Sean. Among progressive reformers, Dr. Perrone’s commitment to […]

Continue reading

The ATS and APS?


Why do I feel that there is strong similarity between the low cost or Affordable Transport Services (ATS) and the so-called Affordable Private Schools (APS)? Let us take a look at the ATS.  In Pakistan, there are also several not so AT services, such as the Daewoo Bus Service (DBS) and other similar services. DBS […]

Continue reading

Schools then and now?


Tim Allender, in his book Ruling Through Education: The Politics of Schooling in Colonial Punjab says that department of public instruction started by the British Raj failed soon as it had started and that its jurisdiction had effectively retreated to the Urban centres in India.  The colonial administration found it efficient to attend to the […]

Continue reading

The Affordable Private School?


I just turned my TV on only to hear this heartrending news: An overpacked ‘school’ bus, carrying 102 children from one Millat Grammar School of Faisalabad went down a chasm on the motorway near Kallar Kahar hills. At the time of writing this, 31 lives–including the school (vice?) principal, the driver and the conductor of […]

Continue reading

Incentives and Test-based Accountability in Education?


Below are conclusions of an influential panel charged with studying the effects of incentives and test-based accountability in Education. A must read, especially for those who carry a strong stance in favour of test-based accountability as an important kernel of education reforms in Pakistan. Read the conclusions/recommendations: CONCLUSIONS Conclusion 1: Test-based incentive programs, as designed […]

Continue reading

Outcomes based Accountability?


In some previous posts (See here, here, here, here  and here) Just-questions voiced concerns about standardised testing as a basis for making teachers accountable for students’ learning.  Recently my friend Ajay Sharma drew my attention to a piece written by Nancy Folbre [an economist at University of Massachusettes] in NYT. She draws upon the economic theory to suggest that the high stakes tests-based […]

Continue reading