"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, July 22, 2005

"Scientifically-based" and Profit-based teacher preparation

George Bush's former Texas reading czar, Reid Lyon, said in 2002 that “if there was any legislation I could pass it would be to blow up colleges of education.” One can imagine that Dr. Lyon, recently departed from NICHD, is now planning to do the next best thing, to create, with serious Texas money behind him, the new American College of Education—a very different kind of teacher preparation, we might imagine. Envisioned as a nationwide chain of store, er, campuses, ACE hopes to prepare teachers for the MacSchools of the future, private, too, of course. Supplying the capital for this venture is Randy Best, founder of Voyager Expanded Learning, a scripted, phonic-based approach to literacy, and now patented, that's right, patented as the only reading system "guaranteed against illiteracy." These are serious capitalists, er, educators here.


  1. Glad to find your blog. I look forward to reading it. Hope you stick with it, for there truly is an audience for this kind of informed thinking about schools. Many of us, parents of all stripes, are aghast a what's going on.

    I'd be curious to know what books on the subject you might recommend.

  2. Anonymous9:55 PM

    For starters I would recommend "Many Children Left Behind: How the No Child Left Behind Act is Damaging Our Children and Our Schools"
    by Deborah Meier and George Wood, editors. Great collection of essays from a variety of educators & perspectives on NCLB. Easy read and chock full of info.


  3. Also see the DEFENDING PUBLIC SCHOOLS (Volumes I-IV) series, edited by E. Wayne Ross, David Gabbard, Kathleen Kesson, Sandra Mathison, & Kevin Vinson. Request your local university or public library to purchase them.

  4. Anonymous11:36 AM

    A good article on the topic was discussed in a meeting the other day for a study we are working on. "Where does Policy Usually come from and Why Should we care?" Song, M. Coggshall, J., and Miskel, C. From: The Voice of Evidence in Reading Research. Analyzes the Policy elites in DC, but it doesn't discuss a whole lot about the why as much as the who.