National Education Policy Center:  “We toss the baby out with the bathwater when we ignore all studies simply because some of them are fatally flawed”

BOULDER, CO (April 28, 2016) – One way to ignore solid evidence is to dismiss research because, “it can be made to say anything.” This is unfortunately true.

But we toss the baby out with the bathwater when we ignore all studies because some are fatally flawed.

A new, single-page brief provides tips for identifying higher-quality studies and otherwise making better use of education policy research.

“When readers heed basic cautions, research can provide valuable guidance that helps them learn from past experiences rather than reinventing the wheel by repeatedly re-introducing policies and practices that have failed in the past,” said Holly Yettick, PhD, director of the Education Week Research Center and author of the brief.

Yettick briskly walks through some of the key issues that readers of education research should understand.

These topics include:

> Peer review

> The importance of prioritizing research reviews over standalone studies

> “P values” and statistical significance

> Effect sizes

> Research in real-world situations

This brief is the fifth in a series of concise publications, Research-Based Options for Education Policymaking, that takes up a number of important policy issues and identifies policies supported by research.

Each section focuses on a different issue, and its recommendations to policymakers are based on the latest scholarship.

Find Holly Yettick’s brief on the NEPC website at:

http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/research-based-options

Source: Making Good Use of Policy Research | National Education Policy Center

Retired Principal: Think of the Talent Lost When We Try to Standardize Children

Diane Ravitch post: Lynn Stoddard, a retired educator, writes about the damage done by trying to standardize what is inherently non-standard: a human being. His solution: Let teachers teach. Encourage them to recognize and magnify individual differences. Standardization doesn’t work for unique human beings, which each of us is. He writes: Perhaps the largest damage to our culture is the countless people who have died with their music still in them because they attended schools devoted to standardizing students.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Lynn Stoddard, a retired educator, writes about the damage done by trying to standardize what is inherently non-standard: a human being.

His solution: Let teachers teach. Encourage them to recognize and magnify individual differences. Standardization doesn’t work for unique human beings, which each of us is.

He writes:

Perhaps the largest damage to our culture is the countless people who have died with their music still in them because they attended schools devoted to standardizing students. An eighth-grade boy in Farmington composed music for full orchestra, with 29 instruments — brass, woodwinds, percussion and strings — a piece that was so good it was chosen to be played at the State Music Educators Conference. Sadly, he did not go on to become another phenomenal composer like Mozart or Andrew Lloyd Webber, because he had to spend so much time with higher math and other required subjects.

What would American culture…

View original post 141 more words

Thousands of Michigan kids suffer because of mass incarceration | Blogs | Detroit Metro Times

One out of 10 Michigan children have had a parent incarcerated.

 

“By removing record numbers of people from their neighborhoods for record periods of time, mass incarceration causes neighborhoods in the Motor City to literally collapse.”

Source: Thousands of Michigan kids suffer because of mass incarceration | Blogs | Detroit Metro Times

A Lesson from Upper Darby in How to Demoralize Teachers

Diane Ravitch writes…
The Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, school board gave a $30,000 contract to a consulting firm for advice. The advice was to turn a certain number of elementary school teachers into “at-large” teachers in their school. This would make them into floaters, permanent subs. Guess what? Teachers are furious. They will lose their classrooms. A special meeting of the Upper Darby School Board Thursday night to discuss the educational specifications committee turned into a standing room only plea to keep teachers in their classrooms.

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, school board gave a $30,000 contract to a consulting firm for advice. The advice was to turn a certain number of elementary school teachers into “at-large” teachers in their school. This would make them into floaters, permanent subs.

Guess what? Teachers are furious. They will lose their classrooms.

A special meeting of the Upper Darby School Board Thursday night to discuss the educational specifications committee turned into a standing room only plea to keep teachers in their classrooms.

Purple T-shirts with “Let us Teach” filled the board room at the high school as teachers let the board know that they want to teach in their own classrooms and not be designated floaters throughout the district under proposed new elementary school schedules.

These schedules, made up by the consulting firm District Management Council for $30,000, are slated to be presented to the public on Monday night, but…

View original post 98 more words

Wonder where all the anti-establishment fury is coming from?

Robert Reich writes…

According to the Economic Policy Institute, the wages of young college grads have gone nowhere since 2000, and the wages of young people with only a high school degree have dropped (see chart below).

And the establishment is bewildered about where all the anti-establishment fury is coming from?

Source: Facebook

Some bad news for kindergartners in Michigan – from The Washington Post

Michigan Superintendent of Schools Brian Whiston has a lot of ideas about what he wants to do to improve public education.

Not a one them makes a bit of sense.

In fact you’d hardly believe he’s actually a professional educator.

Read the full story here: Some bad news for kindergartners in Michigan – The Washington Post

Health chief: Ebola distracted from Genesee County Legionnaires’ outbreak | Michigan Radio

The state’s health director says an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Genesee County did not get the attention it deserved from his agency. He says it the agency was distracted by the Ebola outbreak.

I don’t buy it.

The Legionnaires’ outbreak killed at least 12 people in 2014 and 15.

There were 11 known cases of Ebola in the U.S., and two fatalities — none were in Michigan.

Read the story here: Health chief: Ebola distracted from Genesee County Legionnaires’ outbreak | Michigan Radio