Tag Archives: education policy

garbage can model of ed policy: random, unpredictable, or both?

Ok, so yesterday I tweeted this: Annoying: when people conflate the difference between random and merely unpredictable processes. It received a fair bit of attention. This is my attempt to explain the context. Please bear in mind that I am neither a statistician nor a scientist of any kind. These are just my reflections on […]

a state guaranteed education?

The first comments that struck me while reading Harry Brighouse‘s interesting article, “What’s Wrong With Privatising Education?,” were the following, made in response to some arguments made by James Tooley in favor of privatizing schools: “Tooley himself sometimes endorses a principle that we might call the ‘Adequacy Principle’, that everyone has a right to a sufficiently […]

tax credits for homeschooling: initial thoughts

As I wrote recently, I’m currently in an ed policy class and doing my first real series of policy docs. After much deliberation, I have decided to analyze the prospect of NYC providing tax credits (or some other form of compensation) to families who homeschool their children. Although, to my knowledge, there is no serious […]

ed policy amateur hour

The biggest thing going on for me academically these days is that I’m taking my first education policy course. It’s this: HUDF 5645 Policy seminar I Conceptualization and identification of social and educational problems that can be subjected to policy interventions. Design and evaluation of alternative policy choices. Effective strategies for presenting policy analysis to […]

book review: Ivan Illich’s “Deschooling Society”

Ivan Illich‘s “Deschooling Society” is a classic in the alternative education scene, so I had been meaning to read it for ages and finally did. The book has seven shortish chapters, and is a pretty quick read. The first chapter, “Why We Must Disestablish School,” is very clearly the strongest one. Illich argues that institutionalized […]

“Waiting for Superman”: in moderate defense of charters

You’ve probably heard about the much hyped documentary, “Waiting for Superman.”  If you haven’t, go read the synopsis. It’s basically about how terrible U.S. public schools are, how the teachers’ unions block meaningful reforms, and how charter schools are the answer. I had the chance to view WFS last week before its release, courtesy of […]

education, the state, and protecting children from ignorance

The other day, I started Education and the State by E.G. West. It is sometimes argued that state funded, state regulated, and state provided education is justified by the necessity of  protecting children from ignorance. So, West begins with two chapters exploring this argument philosophically and assessing how well this “protection” works in practice. These chapters […]

book review: Diane Ravitch’s “The Death and Life of the Great American School System”

I recently finished Diane Ravitch‘s book, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education.” This book has been getting quite a bit of attention even outside of educational circles so I figured I should read it. Ravitch is an historian of education and, viewed as a […]

learning styles, individual differences, and responsibility

Recently, I came across this video: “Learning Styles Don’t Exist,” by psychologist Daniel T. Willingham of the University of Virginia. Willingham argues that learning style theories fail to predict the differences in learning that we would expect to see if they were correct (you should go watch, he explains it better than I could). Learning […]

what’s in a name? – labels and tracking

Yesterday, I discussed the issue of whether work-related language is appropriate for describing learning. Here’s another language in education controversy that has made it into the news lately: ‘At hope’ kids better than ‘at risk’?: Washington state lawmaker wants to banish negative labels The bill is motivated by the good-hearted desire for disadvantaged children to […]