Saturday, June 19, 2010

Op-Ed Greenville News 19 June 2010

Test scores aren't the most serious problem

From Krashen

**Why kindergarten children are studying engineering "before they can spell it"**

Sent to the NY Times, June 14
**Kindergarten children are "Studying Engineering Before They Can Spell It," (June 14) because the US Dept of Education thinks we are behind in science and engineering. Not true. **

American students from well-funded schools and higher-income families outscore nearly every country in the world in science and math. Only our children in high-poverty schools score below the international average. Our average scores are low because we have the highest percentage of poverty of all industrialized countries: 25%, compared to Denmark's 3%. The real problem is poverty.

According to the World Economic Federation, the US is doing well in engineering and science, ranking fifth out of 133 countries in "availability of scientists & engineers," second in "quality of scientific research institutions," and third in the number of patents for new inventions per capita.

Contrary to popular opinion, there is no shortage of technology-trained professionals in the US. There is a surplus.

Stephen Krashen

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New Report on Low Income Students

See the new report from Institute for Higher Education Policy:

A Portrait of Low-Income Young Adults in Education

Do as I say, not as I do. . .

Krashen has shared a perceptive insight from Susan Ohanian that reflects the incredible hypocrisy and senselessness of political approaches to educational commentary and reform (the patsed information below is provided directly from Krashen's emailing):

A Violation of the Common Core Standards

Sent to the NY Times.

**In a press release announcing the launching of The Common Core State
Standards ("States Receive a Reading List: New Standards for
Education," June 2), former Colorado Governor Roy Romer is quoted as
saying: "Common standards ensure that every child across the country
is getting the best possible education, no matter where a child lives
or what their background is."**

Clearly, neither Gov. Romer nor any of those who reviewed the press
release have mastered Standard L.3.1f: "Ensure subject-verb and
pronoun antecedent agreement;" (grades 3-12) and Standard L.6. 1e:
"Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and
person." (grades 6-12) (page 56 of the Common Core State Standards).

We are told that adoption of the Standards will ensure that Americans
will be able to compete in the 21st century global economy. How can we
hope to do this if we continue to make and allow inappropriate shifts
in pronoun number?

Susan Ohanian

Stephen Krashen

Additional information:

Gov. Romer also served as superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School

Press release, US Department of Education, "National Governors
Association and State Education Chiefs Launch Common State Academic

More Giroux, brilliant as ever

Read the latest from Henry Giroux in truthout. . .

A key section:

"Public schools are under attack not because they are failing or are inefficient, but because they are public, an unwanted reminder of a public sphere and set of institutions whose purpose is to serve the common good and promote democratic ends, values and social relations. The forces poised to destroy public schools are ideologically motivated to destroy all vestiges of the common good, just as they are enraptured economically by the possibility of reaping big profits through an ongoing campaign aimed at promoting vouchers, privatization and charters, all of which are intended to slowly and successfully convince the public to disinvest in public schooling and transform it into a private rather than public good."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Defining poverty?

We must stay vigilant against attitudes that continue to trivialize poverty by suggesting poverty is somehow the fault of those living in that poverty.

This Op-Ed is a sad example of flawed ideologies about poverty—but ones that resonate with an American public enamored with the rugged individual myth. . .