Sunday, June 30, 2013

Welcome to the blog!

I recently re-launched Real Education Reform as a jQuery Mobile site. It should now work well on mobile devices such as smart phones.

I'm re-publishing my original blog Welcome message. In the future, I am going to try to post at least once per week.

What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all of its children. Any other ideal for our schools is narrow and unlovely; acted upon, it destroys our democracy.

John Dewey, The School and Society
Welcome to the blog!

This blog will differ from the Web site, which focuses on research on curriculum and instruction. Here, I plan to post about books, news, research, policy, and anything else relating to education reform.

You wouldn't know it from listening to the news, but today the average American student performs better than ever before on standardized tests such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Yet large disparities in achievement exist. Generally speaking, students from high-income families perform well, and students from low-income families perform poorly. Over time, the so-called "achievement gap" has fluctuated, but the gap itself persists.

What are the causes of this gap? And what should we do to close the gap (i.e. increase the achievement of low-income students)? People's diagnoses and prescriptions differ. Oftentimes, one's personal philosophies and worldview influence the way one approaches the problem. The result is an ongoing battle over education reform.

On the bright side, nearly everyone agrees on one thing. Education reform is needed. As I've written on the Web site, "Public education is a vital institution in the United States, and it must be improved in order to promote, protect, and ensure the well-being of individual citizens and the society as a whole."

John Dewey's words, written more than a century ago, represent many things. A goal. A challenge. A moral imperative. A warning.

Isn't it about time for meaningful change? Isn't it about time for effective action?