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

. . .a pupil attitude factor, which appears to have a stronger relationship to achievement than do all the “school” factors together, is the extent to which an individual feels that he has some control over his own destiny. James Coleman, 1966

Sunday, May 25, 2014

To Forbes: The problem is not a lack of technology. The problem is poverty.

Comment on "Education Needs to Change as Fast as Technology," by Zack Sims. Posted at


Mr. Sims hasn't done his homework. He points out that the "US is ranked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. is 31st in math achievement, 24th in science, and 21st in reading." But a number of studies have shown that when we control for the effect of poverty, our students rank near the top of the world.

Mr. Sims also has a great deal of faith in flipped classrooms. But there is no research supporting this faith.  This technology is being pushed on classrooms without proper research.

The problem is not a lack of technology. The problem is poverty. The US child poverty rate is an inexcusable 24%.

Control for effect of poverty: Payne, K. and Biddle, B. 1999. Poor school funding, child poverty, and mathematics achievement. Educational Researcher 28 (6): 4-13; Bracey, G. 2009. The Bracey Report on the Condition of Public Education. Boulder and Tempe: Education and the Public Interest Center & Education Policy Research Unit. http://epicpolicy.org/publication/Bracey-Report. Berliner, D. 2011. The Context for Interpreting PISA Results in the USA: Negativism, Chauvinism, Misunderstanding, and the Potential to Distort the Educational Systems of Nations. In Pereyra, M., Kottoff, H-G., & Cowan, R. (Eds.). PISA under examination: Changing knowledge, changing tests, and changing schools. Amsterdam: Sense Publishers. Tienken, C. 2010. Common core state standards: I wonder? Kappa Delta Phi Record 47 (1): 14-17. Carnoy, M and Rothstein, R. 2013, What Do International Tests Really Show Us about U.S. Student Performance. Washington DC: Economic Policy Institute. 2012. http://www.epi.org/).
Fairtest: http://www.fairtest.org/common-core-assessments-factsheet

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