Wesleyan University sociologist Daniel Long explains why it’s wrong that teachers are scapegoats in Democratic Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy’s school reform plans:
Education in Connecticut is a paradox. Though the National Assessment of Educational Progress consistently ranks the state among the highest scoring for student achievement, we also suffer from the highest black/white and poor/non-poor achievement gaps in the country. [...]
If schools were primarily responsible for the achievement gap, we would expect the gap to increase as students progressed through grade school. Yet the gap is almost unchanged from third to eighth grade, as evidenced by results of the 2011 CMTs. The inequalities begin before students enter school.
And Malloy’s answer is to focus not on those inequalities but to embrace teaching to the test and charter schools, despite evidence (which Long’s op-ed discusses) that both are counter-productive. Malloy is great on so many issues—it’s a shame to see him buying into the corporate education agenda.
By contrast, the coalition of unions, government, nonprofits, foundations and businesses fighting to improve education and economic prospects in McDowell, West Virginia (PDF) is beginning several preliminary pieces of the much larger project.
Meanwhile, Michelle Rhee poses with Foster Friess.
- The excellent Josh Eidelson reports on the port truck drivers’ struggles we’ve been following in this space.
- Another from Josh Eidelson, giving us a way to think about President Obama’s decision to sign the union-busting FAA bill:
[T]ry to imagine a Republican president and Republican Senate majority leader signing off on a bill with pro-union language despite thundering objections from most big businesses. Your imagination may not be good enough to picture that, which tells you everything you need to know about the asymmetry between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to labor.
- Speaking of excellent writers, Hamilton Nolan says The top 1% must stop insisting they’re not right right this instant.
- As inspections of Apple suppliers begin, Steven Greenhouse reports on questions about whether the Fair Labor Association is actually independent.
- Indiana unions fight to keep their members from becoming free riders after the passage of the state’s new right to work (for less) law.