Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Promoting Student Achievement

Just like the post in which I asked exactly what the benefit of diversity is on campus, in this post Mike of EIA (see blogroll at left) asks what contractual conditions actually impact student achievement.

The relative worth of class size reduction, performance pay, national board certification, vouchers, teacher quality, national standards, the single salary schedule, charter schools, collective bargaining, NCLB, and any other influence on our education system is constantly fought over, but it is almost always beside the point next to the parallel political fight that has nothing to do with the relative worth of those influences.

Lots of good links in his post as well.


Anonymous said...

What we are seeing in this type of mandate is that core classes are down to twenty to twenty five, while electives and non core classes are packed. The unsaid message is that core classes matter, others don't. While I would agree that core classes are important, I don't think they produce well rounded or culturally aware individuals. It's like salad-you could just have lettuce and it's still salad, or you could add a few things and have a great salad. It's all salad, but one will have far more nutrituional value. Too many kids are on the subsistence academic diet. They take the minimum, graduate early and then what? They never tried anything outside the realm of core subjects so they have no concept of what other avenues are open. It is the same problem I have with kids declaring majors too early. How can you know what you really want if you don't know what is really there?

allen said...

You've obviously never been involuntarily hungry for more then a couple of hours, if that.

It's when you're subsistence is no longer in doubt that salads, and dessert, ought to be on the menu.

The graduation of illiterates in the U.S. is neither a cliche nor a rarity. How "well rounded" is any education that permits promotion without attainment of basic skills? It's the sort of "well roundedness" that's approximated by a doughnut.