GOOD

Studies Support Rewards, Homework, and Traditional Teaching—Or Do They?

It's smart to be skeptical of education studies that seem to support traditional practices.


It’s not unusual to read that a new study has failed to replicate—or has even reversed—the findings of an earlier study. The effect can be disconcerting, particularly when medical research announces that what was supposed to be good for us turns out to be dangerous, or vice versa.

Qualifications and reversals also show up in investigations of education and human behavior, but here an interesting pattern seems to emerge. At first a study seems to validate traditional practices, but then subsequent studies—those that follow subjects for longer periods of time or use more sophisticated outcome measures—call that result into question.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Debunking Education Myths: America's Never Been Number One in Math

China getting the top spot on the PISA tests created a panic over America's fall from academic grace. But our scores are actually improving.


Has America really fallen behind the rest of the world in academic achievement? According to a new report from the nonprofit Brookings Institution, all the doom-and-gloom commentary suggesting that we've fallen from the top spot simply isn't true. And, even more surprising, America's results are actually on the rise.

National panic ensued last December when data from the Program for International Student Assessment tests revealed our less than stellar international math results. Even worse, high schoolers from our competitor du jour, China, scored the top spot. But the report's author, Tom Loveless, writes that, "The United States never led the world. It was never number one and has never been close to number one on international math tests. Or on science tests, for that matter."

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Geoffrey Canada Tells Stephen Colbert Racism Has Nothing to Do with the Achievement Gap

The Waiting for Superman star says teachers unions are to blame for everything wrong in public education.

\n

\n
Why isn’t public education fixed yet? According to the Harlem Children’s Zone founder and Waiting for Superman star Geoffrey Canada, if teachers unions didn’t exist, all would be well in our nation’s schools. Such talk is par for the course for Canada, but on Tuesday night’s episode of The Colbert Report, he added something new to his education reform spiel. Canada claimed that racism has nothing to do with the achievement gap.

When Colbert asked Canada to explain what the achievement gap is, Canada replied, “As soon as we can test kids, we find between a 25- to 35-point difference between white kids and black kids in math and in reading.”

Keep Reading Show less
Articles