Showing posts from June, 2014

An Alternative Universe

 I grew up reading Superman comics, and especially enjoyed those that featured stories of an alternative universe.  Bizarro World was one such universe, where the planet and its inhabitants were diametrically opposite to everything on earth.  Even the name of the planet, Htrae, was “earth” spelled backwards, and the planet was a cube shape rather than spherical.       Education seems to have entered it’s own Bizarro world with Arne Duncan’s policies and beliefs.  It would seem President Obama’s appointee to head the US Department of Education, second only to Bill Gates as the most powerful force in US educational policy, believes strongly in the Bizarro theory of educational improvement; whatever research says, do the opposite.  For the first example, we need look no further than Common Core, the Federal standards that aren’t Federal standards because Arnie says they’re not.  Used as a carrot in the RTTT program, acceptance of CC was inferred for states to receive money.  Not the

Testing the Alternatives

Testing the Alternatives     Jim Arnold recently retired from the superintendent's position of the Pelham City, GA Schools and blogs at .  Peter Smagorinsky is Distinguished Research Professwor of English Education at the University of Georgia whose public essays are archived at   Last fall journalists exposed the wretched conditions at Trenton (NJ) High School.  Brown water oozed from drinking fountains, rodents roamed freely, teachers and students became physically ill from being in the building, mold covered the walls, roofs were leaking, ceilings were crumbling onto the students and teachers below, streams of water ran down the hallways, and morale throughout the building was, not surprisingly, well below sea level.  Conditions reached the point where the met the state criterion of being "so potentially hazardous that it causes an imminent peril to the health and safety of students and