Vox Populi

by Robert Pondiscio
May 22nd, 2009

One problem with the mastery assessment argument is that all too often students who choose not to do homework, attend, etc., then fail traditional assessments but are granted “alternative” evaluations. It has been my experience that few of these alternative methods measure mastery but are simply social promotion poorly disguised as legitimate accomplishment.”   Peter on “standards-based grading

This may explain why parent education is such a powerful predictor of student success. It’s a lot easier for a kid whose parents are doctors, lawyers, or teachers to see the connection between education and jobs, than it is for the child of someone struggling in a low-wage job to understand that education could make a difference for them.”   Rachel on What’s My Motivation?

Wallace is essentially mounting the “transferable skills” defense of the humanities. While she may not have used any “21st-century skills” language, her arguments bring her into the same terrain. Skills developed through intense engagement with specific academic content become useful in very different areas. Might some of those skills even outlive some of the content knowledge that helped incubate them?”  Claus von Zastrow on In Defense of the Liberal Arts

I don’t mind schools promoting the idea of volunteerism, even expecting it as prerequisite for some honors, but requiring it? That seems the sort of thinking we would expect from people who have no logical problem with “mandatory volunteerism.”  Brian Rude on Service Learning

I Have a Dream

by Robert Pondiscio
May 22nd, 2009

“It would have chilled Martin Luther King’s blood to see how the struggle for equality has been narrowed into a race for higher test scores in a society that abandoned Lyndon Johnson’s ‘War on Poverty.’” 

Them’s fightin’ words.

What’s My Motivation?

by Robert Pondiscio
May 22nd, 2009

Teaching middle school students that academic performance is a key to their future job prospects is more important to student achievement than helping kids with their homework, according to a new study.   “Instilling the value of education and linking school work to future goals is what this age group needs to excel in school, more than parents’ helping with homework or showing up at school,” lead researcher Nancy E. Hill, PhD, of Harvard University tells Science Daily. She examined 50 studies with more than 50,000 students over a 26-year period looking at what kinds of parent involvement helped children’s academic achievement.

I clearly recall my late father making sure he instilled in his son the value of education. And the links he established between school and future job prospects were clear and unambiguous:

“Get your @#$%! to school!  Do you want to be a #$%@! bum your whole life?

Does that count?