Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Debunking the Secretary

And here's what happens when you let loose an English teacher on Secretary Duncan's latest.
He reserves his harshest criticism for reformers’ favorite bogeyman, the twentieth century “factory model” of public education. He complains, for example, that students still “study five subjects a day in timed periods.” Except the five subjects he’s talking about are English, math, science, social studies, and a foreign language or some other elective. It’s unclear which ones he’d like schools to eliminate. As for eliminating schedules, reformers haven’t yet discovered how to materialize an adolescent in two places at once. They do agree that students need longer “block” classes to learn effectively, except when they’re agreeing that students can’t be expected to concentrate on anything for very long.

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