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Shaun Johnson

Teacher educator & former public school teacher. AKA "Chalkface, PhD"

I am good at education and ice hockey.

Location
Annapolis, Maryland
@thechalkface
Website
atthechalkface.com

Activity

  • Shaun Johnson commented on a link

    I Won't Say 'Don't Join Teach For America' (Yet) via magazine.good.is

    35

    Shaun Johnson5 months ago

    TFA should be dissolved, immediately, and with extreme prejudice.

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  • Shaun Johnson replied to a comment by pilgrimish

    Why America's Prep Schools Aren't Following Arne Duncan's Public School Education Reforms via magazine.good.is

    27

    pilgrimishabout 1 year ago

    While your point, Kevin, is a "logical" one, this has nothing to do with a "subaltern" or "periphery" historical perspective, nor "western" for that matter. I'm simply asking for any evidence, numerical, statistical, and/or anecdotal, if it be wholesome, to tell me that public schools in America manage "to nurture the vast majority of young people, many of whom go on to be hugely successful."

    Really, this is a whole bunch of beating around the bush. Shaun.. your last comment was redundant. You're still not saying anything. What's not to get about what I'm asking?

    Shaun Johnsonabout 1 year ago

    But it actually does, if you understand the term "positivist." The gold standard under NCLB, for instance, is quantitative research. Thus, statistical and numerical research is privileged over the potential insights gained from, for example, case studies, interviews, ethnographies, and document analysis. We can learn a great deal from qualitative methods, or even mixed designs. An over-reliance on numerical methods limits the potential for alternative ways of knowing. As I sit here in a coffee shop right now, there are a couple of dozen people, the vast majority of which I'm sure went to public school. They are talking, joking, feeding their children. They seem like very well-adjusted, happy, healthy human beings. To dismiss this contention in favor of simple descriptive statistics is just really weird.

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  • Shaun Johnson replied to a comment by 7evenseaz

    Why America's Prep Schools Aren't Following Arne Duncan's Public School Education Reforms via magazine.good.is

    27

    7evenseazabout 1 year ago

    Do you have any sources to back the second line of your last statement, Shaun? And Kevin, did you go to public school or private for either primary and secondary education?

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  • Shaun Johnson replied to a comment by pilgrimish

    Why America's Prep Schools Aren't Following Arne Duncan's Public School Education Reforms via magazine.good.is

    27

    pilgrimishabout 1 year ago

    While your point, Kevin, is a "logical" one, this has nothing to do with a "subaltern" or "periphery" historical perspective, nor "western" for that matter. I'm simply asking for any evidence, numerical, statistical, and/or anecdotal, if it be wholesome, to tell me that public schools in America manage "to nurture the vast majority of young people, many of whom go on to be hugely successful."

    Really, this is a whole bunch of beating around the bush. Shaun.. your last comment was redundant. You're still not saying anything. What's not to get about what I'm asking?

    Shaun Johnsonabout 1 year ago

    Again. There are 50 million public school students at any given moment. No statistical or numerical data is necessary to support such a statement. It would be as if requiring numerical data to support the contention that the sky is blue. We can ask for numerical information to support almost any assertion; for instance, I am hungry. Your potential reply, "got any numbers to back that up?" I could measure my blood sugar, but why waste my time?

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  • Shaun Johnson replied to a comment by Kevin Cordeiro

    Why America's Prep Schools Aren't Following Arne Duncan's Public School Education Reforms via magazine.good.is

    27

    Kevin Cordeiroabout 1 year ago

    As a researcher of Subaltern and Periphery histories the constant dismissal of anecdotal evidence perpetuates a western-centric view of evidence and substantially accurate analysis. Especially in education can this by incredibly vital. One point that should be remembered is that statistical data is expensive, therefore its collection is often funded by (and more often biased towards) well resourced and empowered institutions or groups. Those high-capital investors in educational research are looking out for the interest of their capital. [Gates Foundation is an excellent example of this] Secondly part of this question of 'value' and 'success' are loaded with cultural and classist presumptions of the meanings of those terms. Post-modernist linguistic analysis has shown that terms such as these show drastic chasms of meaning between the super-structures meaning of those terms and that of the working class (the majority of our students and their families). Part of Shaun's article that is part of the more subtle analysis here is that we are applying different dimensions of success for our students and of effective schools between private elite schools and public working class schools. You show me one organization collecting data relative to this argument and I'll be more than happy to sit and analyze as much as possible to give to the data.

    Shaun Johnsonabout 1 year ago

    Beautiful. Have any good readings to recommend on subaltern theories and education? I've read some basics, Prison Notebooks, and so forth.

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  • Shaun Johnson replied to a comment by 7evenseaz

    Why America's Prep Schools Aren't Following Arne Duncan's Public School Education Reforms via magazine.good.is

    27

    7evenseazabout 1 year ago

    Not at all, actually. Anecdote is not evidence, Shaun. Especially when attempted to make a argument based on statistical evidence which you haven't actually provided or even attempted to shine more light on. So far, you've confidently mentioned 44 men, several of whom have received boarding school or private secondary educations, comprising the small set of people who make up our American Presidents. You then continue to mention actors, one to be exact, who have attended public school. What's the tally for that group of individuals? And then engineers and scientists... do you actually have a number? The conversation about the value of public education in America needs hard truths, Shaun. Not fluff.

    Shaun Johnsonabout 1 year ago

    All right, so let me get this straight. You want me to actually use descriptive statistics to make the argument that a good majority of the roughly 50 million public school students, in roughly 14,000 school districts, in approximately 100,000 public schools, might possibly, actually, likely become successful and otherwise happy, healthy, and productive human beings? You need evidence, cold hard, quantitative evidence, that maybe, just maybe, the roughly 50 million students attending public schools on any given day might one day become successful? You need statistical evidence for that argument? Would you also require statistical evidence if I were to assert that gravity exists?

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  • Shaun Johnson replied to a comment by Sherie C

    Why America's Prep Schools Aren't Following Arne Duncan's Public School Education Reforms via magazine.good.is

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    Sherie Cabout 1 year ago

    Shaun , as much as I respect your article/ contribution and I agree with most of what you say, I do feel your response here to pilgrimish's question is a little harsh.
    You write in your article "As a teacher educator and former classroom teacher, I’m happy to provide all the proof I need that their messages, every last one of them, are destructive. But for now, I have a simpler demonstration." So now, someone is questioning your argument and asking for some verification or proof and your response is "Try NCES, I'm not going to do the work for you".
    Good citizen journalism needs sources and for the sake of transparency, we all deserve them.

    Shaun Johnsonabout 1 year ago

    Sherie,

    Pilgrim's request for verification is so commonsense it doesn't even merit any further research. It's not really something that requires attribution. Look at all the anecdotal evidence available that public schools can and will continue to nurture successful people. Celebrities like Matt Damon, who has been very vocal about his support for public schools, is indeed a public school graduate. Shall we continue with Presidents, like our current one? He attended a public high school, for instance. Does that suffice?

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  • Shaun Johnson replied to a comment by DemiBG

    Why America's Prep Schools Aren't Following Arne Duncan's Public School Education Reforms via magazine.good.is

    27

    DemiBGabout 1 year ago

    The government should take care of the social status of the students in the USA, not in Irak or Afghanistan, but here behind the Hill in DC where 3000 kids a day are being afraid to go to school because they are not saved. How many of the ones that are making it to school are hungry; that is another question. All these questions cannot be solved by the teachers, and yet they have been damped on teachers. The DC teachers became responsible for everything. Get the troops back home and put them in schools and areas where is dangerous even to walk out on the street.

    Shaun Johnsonabout 1 year ago

    Very interesting ideas, DC is a prime example of educational inequalities.

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  • Shaun Johnson replied to a comment by Carolyn Wilson

    Why America's Prep Schools Aren't Following Arne Duncan's Public School Education Reforms via magazine.good.is

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    Carolyn Wilsonabout 1 year ago

    I share your passion for public schools and your outrage at the narrow, shallow and mechanized aproaches to teaching and learning that are being imposed on public schools. I also see the advantages of having a common set of standards as part of a baseline for what our children need to know and be able to do. Children need to know multiplication facts, they need to understand ratios and how to determine rate or slope. Independent schools have standards or learning outcomes. They simply measure them in mulitple ways. Some even teach them in multiple ways. The problems with school reform movements, NCLB and Race To The Top is that they measure a narrow slice of student performance and encourage a 'one-size-fits-all' approach to teaching and assessment. Standardized tests, computer-based instruction (which is not the same as online instruction) are all designed for economies of scale. Indepenedent schools succeed, in part, because they are strong communities where children are known well and have opportunities to contribute to the community. It costs a lot of time and money to support educators in building and maintaining rich learning communities where there is a shared set of expectations for what should be taught and measured and many paths to acquiring mastery. How many Americans really value the complex set of practices and underlying values which are the foundation of great learning communities? Too many settle for test scores and college admissions as a metric of educational success. I despair that our society will ever devote the resources to create and maintain public schools that are inspiring, supportive, challenging and accountable. But we must not fear being accountable- we simply have to redefine the measures to which we hold schools accountable.

    Shaun Johnsonabout 1 year ago

    We can certainly practice multiplication facts without an expensive common core standards apparatus.

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  • Shaun Johnson replied to a comment by pilgrimish

    Why America's Prep Schools Aren't Following Arne Duncan's Public School Education Reforms via magazine.good.is

    27

    pilgrimishabout 1 year ago

    "Our public education system, with all of its admitted flaws, manages to nurture the vast majority of young people, many of whom go on to be hugely successful."

    What a whopper of a claim in the first line! Do you have any sources to back that, Shaun?

    Shaun Johnsonabout 1 year ago

    I don't understand why that's such a whopper. The majority of students in this country attend public schools. Additionally, think of all the successful public school attendees, like Presidents, famous actors, scientists, engineers, and so forth. Try NCES, I'm not going to do your work for you.

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  • Shaun Johnson thinks this is good

    The Disappearing Package: From Dissolving Wrappers to Products That Package Themselves via magazine.good.is

    6

  • Shaun Johnson shared a link

    Why America's Prep Schools Aren't Following Arne Duncan's Public School Education Reforms via magazine.good.is

    27