Must reads for this week include:
The political scientist in me loves this post by Lori Mortimer at Educated Doubt, the difference between the Iraqi Democracy and the American Democracy is that Iraqi care enough to vote, even when threatened with their lives. Nearly 50% of Americans don't vote and we're threatened only by annoying exit pollers." What does it have to do with education--read the post to learn more about "democratic schools."
Moebius Stripper takes on Math and Social Justice--honestly, I never thought those two concepts would appear in a book and MS does me a favor by debunking the book, even without having read it--thankfully, MS didn't waste time or money on that fool's errand.
Ironman, over at Political Calcualtions, takes on the concept of the teachers' unions opposition to bringing math and science practitioners into the classrooms to teach, well math and science. This quote is indicative of the rapier logic used by Ironman (and this is not even the best one): The
performance of U.S. students on standardized math and science exams and evaluations shows that compared to other students in the world, the U.S. does well (average or better) up through the eighth grade and falls off considerably afterward. In other words, the problem is not the kids - it's the teaching. In particular, the teaching at the upper grade levels where much more advanced math and science concepts are introduced in secondary school curriculums. Since the teachers' unions have used their political influence to restrict who may teach in a classroom to those with education degrees by law in many states, they and their political agents are solely responsible for this outcome.My general feeling is that the teachers unions have a Pavlovian response to oppose anything proposed by this Administration, even if it makes sense and may increase their membership. But that is just the poltiical animal in me talking.