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

Thursday, November 03, 2005

A Response to the Times

Judy Rabin posts this letter to the Times on the "new science of education" espoused by SMU's new school for test score improvement:

To the Editor:

As a graduate student in education at Monmouth University in
West Long
Branch, New Jersey, I am currently taking a course in
qualitative research. The
Bush-style education for teachers being
instituted at South Methodist University
is a dangerous affront
to the future of education in this country that has
implications for a democratic and free society. The exclusive

emphasis on quantitative research built into the No Child Left
Behind Act is an
ideological assault on the equally important
qualitative research practices
integral to other forms of
scientific inquiry that can shed light on critical

consequences of education policy.

This narrow view of “scientifically-based research” as
defined in NCLB,
threatens educational opportunities for
students because it does not take the
whole child or the
critical significance of a broad-based curriculum into

consideration. The very real effects of educational
techniques and practices
cannot be discerned simply by
analyzing numbers, statistics and test scores.
Secretary of
Education Margaret Spelling’s call for an overhaul of teacher

preparation and accountability should be viewed with great
trepidation byanyone who
cares about the psychological,
emotional and intellectual well-beingof our

Judy Rabin

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