Thursday, November 5, 2009

Add "Bridging Differences" to your reading list

Bridging Differences is an ongoing discussion between education researchers Diane Ravitch and Deborah Meier. It's engaging, insightful and all-around excellent to read.

The two often disagree, but have found common ground in a couple of important issues that are of immediate concern.

They agree that basing teacher salaries on student scores is absurd. As Meier puts it, "Even the most renowned of testing experts argue that we're nowhere near being able to produce tests that can do the job of pay-by-score that folks want. I do wonder at times what 'they' think they are doing?"

Meier also has unkind words for the educational fad du jour, charter schools: "The charter schools have also become I fear another name for vouchers. Operated by private chains with public funding, they offer a kind of distorted marketplace, controlled by test scores standing in for profits. Thus, they kill two birds with one stone: public education and human judgment."

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