inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #0 of 74: Julie Sherman (julieswn) Wed 9 Dec 15 11:24
    
Welcome David to Inkwell.


David C. Berliner is an educational psychologist and bestselling
author. He was professor and Dean of the Mary Lou Fulton Institute
and Graduate School of Education. He has authored over 200 articles,
books, and chapters in the fields of educational psychology, teacher
education, and educational policy. He is also the father of two
children.

Gene V Glass is a senior researcher at the National Education Policy
Center and a research professor in the School of Education at the
University of Colorado Boulder. As a statistician, Gene has worked
in educational research since the mid-1960’s. He has been an active
editor of Review of Educational Research, Psychology Bulleting,
American Educational Research Journal. He has been honored with the
distinguished Contributions to Educational Research Award as well as
others. 

Serving as interviewer will be our own <lrph>, Lisa Harris:

Lisa Harris been a teacher and an advocate of public school
education since earning her degree in Elementary Education in 1987.
Currently, Lisa is teaching kindergarten in a Title 1 school in Lake
Worth, FL. Lisa’s school is the poster child of “50 Myths and Lies
That Threaten American Public Schools.” Lisa is the mother of 2
public school educated children: Emma is 18 and a senior in high
school, and Graham is a 14 year old freshman. 
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #1 of 74: Lisa Harris (lrph) Wed 9 Dec 15 12:03
    
Welcome, gentlemen! Thank you for joining us in Inkwell.vue for the
next two weeks! Let’s get started.

As a teacher in Title 1 School, you didn’t write anything that
surprised me in the least. 

Is there anything you learned while writing this book that took you
by surprise?  
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #2 of 74: Frako Loden (frako) Thu 10 Dec 15 15:45
    
Welcome, Messrs. Berliner and Glass. I am in the middle of your book and
finding it very enlightening--constantly nodding my head. I teach students
ages 18 and upward, so I'm focusing more on your section "Myths and Lies
About Making All Students Career and College Ready."

In the meantime, I wonder what opinion(s) you have about the Every Student
Succeeds Act, signed into law yesterday and mainly replacing the No Child
Left Behind Act.
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #3 of 74: David Berliner (guestwri) Sat 12 Dec 15 10:16
    
Lisa you asked: "Is there anything you learned while writing this
book that took you by surprise?" 
No. These were all things floating around that made us mad for years
and years. It may have been the advent of VAMs that finally drove us
to write this book, this egregious use of tests to judge teachers
and schools was a natural outgrowth of people who no nothing about
teachers and schools. So we decided to stop complaining and add our
voices. 
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #4 of 74: David Berliner (guestwri) Sat 12 Dec 15 10:42
    
Dear Frako,
Its a little better but still relies on too much testing. Many other
nations find ways not to test every student almost every year, and
still get the feedback they need to think about their policies. The
biggest problem is the reliance on standardized achievement tests.
They are not a good metric for finding out if teachers are competent
or if schools are really doing a decent job. The tests are
insensitive to those issues. They are very good measures of
characteristics about the cohort attending the school and the social
class of the children in the school. Almost everyone agrees that the
variance accounted for in the tests is predominantly determined by
outside of school factors.
But my biggest concern is that ESSa turns over a lot of
responsibility to the states. I predict that states like Arizona,
Alabama, Mississippi, and at least a dozen others will soon find
ways to screw poor and minority children even more than they do now.
One of the reasons the federal government had to step into the
educational systems of our nation was because of budgets that
favored the wealthy school children and not the poor and minorities.
The distribution of resources is not good now, and will get worse
under ESSA, in my estimation. For poor and minority children we need
high-quality early education, we need summer programs, we need
counselors, we need libraries, and if the states are the final
authorities in allocating money for these things, poor and minority
children will not get them.
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #5 of 74: Frako Loden (frako) Sat 12 Dec 15 11:04
    
Do the experts who advise on legislation like No Child Left Behind and Every
Student Succeeds have ANY background in the way non-American schools
function and assess students? I've lived in Japan for many years, but during
that time I've had minimal contact with younger children and only hear about
schools there secondhand.
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #6 of 74: David Berliner (guestwri) Sat 12 Dec 15 11:23
    
I doubt it--they have little background on American educational
processes and systems, other than as a student, so I would guess
they have even less knowledge about foreign systems. But that also
may not hurt. 
     Japanese, Korean and Chinese childhoods are nothing like ours.
We value sports, allow kids to watch TV, say little against dating
and dancing, and concert going, etc. Our kids work on school
newspapers, yearbooks, teams of all sorts, bands, cheering, debate
clubs and many other things that are not part of other childhoods in
other cultures. 
     Our nation is number 1 in entrepreurship---[see the GEDI index]
and these other nations are not noted for that kind of creativity
among their youth. Maybe we'll never do as well as their 15 year
olds--but maybe our kids are happier and more creative and
ultimately more productive. 
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #7 of 74: Lisa Harris (lrph) Sat 12 Dec 15 11:47
    
It's clear to anyone who reads your work that what we do, as a
nation, is not achieving the goals set out. Have you had an
opportunity to address any policy-makers (at any level of
government)? What is the response to your work? 

(I am now procrastinating as I record data for the 32 5-year olds I
teach. Have kindergarteners always had such a detailed grade book? I
have to assess and record the results of about 100 individual
standards. How is this a good use of my time?)
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #8 of 74: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Sat 12 Dec 15 13:13
    
re #4

<I predict that states like Arizona,
Alabama, Mississippi, and at least a dozen others will soon find
ways to screw poor and minority children even more than they do
now.>

Could you expand on that a bit. I've got grandchildren in the AZ
school district and wondered what to look for and circumvent.
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #9 of 74: Tiffany Lee Brown's Moustache (magdalen) Sat 12 Dec 15 15:35
    
> How is this a good use of my time?

what a great question. what is the rationale, among pro-Core-ESSa types,
for these excesses of testing and standardization? is it just to find the
incoming kindergartenders who may need extra help, and help them? to judge
the performance of teachers?

as my son approaches kindergarten age, i find myself wanting to keep him at
home or let him run wild with a bunch of unschoolers. this shocks me,
because i was a very geeky kid who adored school, socializing at school,
extracurricular activities, the whole shebang. as a parent, though, i see
children being locked behind desks taking tests, and i cannot for the life
of me imagine that this is doing any five-year-old a lick of good. 
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #10 of 74: David Berliner (guestwri) Sun 13 Dec 15 09:31
    
To Lisa Harris
No, its not a good use of your time. 
We continue to believe that we can fractionate children into dozens
of little behavioral pieces and rate them all accurately. So lately
young children have had report cards that supposedly rate their
behavior in category after category. 

The notion that we have a whole child, not a fractionated one, seems
to be on the decline. Moreover, 20 or 30 characteristics of a child
to be rated, can never be done sensibly by teachers, and
furthermore, psychometrically, they are all linked. 

I remember clearly my mother asking Miss Maxwell, my kindergarten
teacher, how I was doing. Ms. Maxwell said “fine.” My mother went
home. That's really about it. A professional teacher with concern
and care for young children, can pretty well describe what a parent
needs to know. 

Filling out the forms is a waste of time, psychometrically invalid,
and it fractionates a whole child into pieces that occasionally
might scar that child by labeling them as bright or dumb, gets along
with others or not, can or cannot not follow instructions well,
doesn’t understand colors, doesn’t understand seriation, daydreams,
etc. 
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #11 of 74: David Berliner (guestwri) Sun 13 Dec 15 09:44
    
To Ted Newcomb,
     The governor has refused to raise taxes in a  state that has
purposesly shafted its scools. I mean they really held out money
that was constitutionally required to be paid to schools and the
judge,  5 years later, found the legilature in violation of the
constitution. But the schools have a hard time getting back the
hundreds of millions of dollars that were cheated of. But of course
charters are getting their monies and tuition tax
credits--neovouchers--are helping wealthy people send their kids to
non public schools.
AZ is having trouble hiring enough teachers at the start of the
year. One of the most prestigious districts in the state started
last Septemebr 20 teachers short and has subs and part-timers
covering classes which doesn't set well with the wealthy parents of
this district. Guess which schools get the least qualified of these
'make do" teachers? Has counseling been cut in AZ? Has art and music
and humanities? Are librarians still in our schools? 
Whenever the budgets are cut its the poorest school districts that
take the big hits. And the outside the regular budget money, to help
these schools, is provided by the wealthiest parents to the schools
that serve their already advantaged children. AZ is not unique. Its
bad in lots of places. Its why so many parents want to live in
District A and not district B--they know their kids will be more
advantaged in districts with wealthier and more college educated
parents.  
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #12 of 74: Lisa Harris (lrph) Sun 13 Dec 15 09:46
    
Oh, how I'd love some research and evidence to present to my
administration to support that. I know it's true. In fact, I do tell
my students' parents, "He's fine." Mostly because the media has
scared the crap out of them. 
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #13 of 74: Lisa Harris (lrph) Sun 13 Dec 15 09:48
    
Slipped by information on Arizona. My comment was about the
ridiculousness and ineffectualness of micro-assessing 5-year olds. 
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #14 of 74: It's all done with mirrors... (kafclown) Sun 13 Dec 15 11:23
    
Haven't picked up the book yet, but I have a question regarding selective 
schools.  Here in Chicago, it's feast or famine.  There's schools that are 
amazing with lots of resources, and there are schools that are purportedly 
terrible, with little resources.

One of the suggestions I've heard is to get rid of the selective schools, 
which will unskim the cream of the students, and return them back to the 
neighborhood schools, where they will bring up their averages somewhat.  
But the counter argument is that doing so will be less fair because now no 
schools will be great.

Where do you guys come down on this?
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #15 of 74: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Sun 13 Dec 15 12:37
    
Thanks David,

You are right, no school has extra-curricular budget money. It's all
donated by the parents and grandparents of the kids who go to that
particular school. Been like that for more than 10 years. And we
have gotten used to it. Very vexing to learn that there has always
been federal money available that never sees the light of day in the
school districts.

Pitiful way to educate the nation's future.
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #16 of 74: It's all done with mirrors... (kafclown) Sun 13 Dec 15 13:33
    
Actually, at my son's school (the firsta magnet school in Chicago, Walt 
Disney Magnet) they have plenty of extracurriculars.  Every student 
participates in a special play once a year (and the accelerated kids do it 
twice a year)  There's digital music, coding, ipads for every student, 
promethean boards in every classroom.  The reason whyis that the principal 
is an excellent fundraiser who is hands on IN ALL REGARDS, sometimes to 
the detriment of parent and teacher morale.  She has discouraged the PTA 
from raising funds, saying it's her job to raise the money, and the PTA 
actually disbanded a couple of years ago.  They are back, mostly due to 
dissenting parents.  The principal is older, and I foresee a vacuum of 
power when she retires.
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #17 of 74: Gail Williams (gail) Sun 13 Dec 15 14:11
    
Hmm.  "Walt Disney Magnet" is a public school?  how does this work,
does Disney corp buy naming rights?
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #18 of 74: jelly fish challenged (reet) Sun 13 Dec 15 19:44
    
I was wondering that myself. And a principal who discourages parent
involvement is doing the school community a terrible disservice, no matter
how excellent she is at fund-raising.
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #19 of 74: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Mon 14 Dec 15 02:30
    
Sounds like she comes from a private school background, where that
would be the norm.
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #20 of 74: Lisa Harris (lrph) Mon 14 Dec 15 02:48
    
(For any off-WELL readers, if you would like to ask David a question
or post a comment, you may email it to me at <lrph1125@mac.com> and
I will post it here for you).
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #21 of 74: Lisa Harris (lrph) Mon 14 Dec 15 02:50
    
I agree with the others. A principal's job is to include all of the
stakeholders. 


David, is there any hope that we will get back to less testing and
more teaching any time soon?
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #22 of 74: Ari Davidow (ari) Mon 14 Dec 15 08:55
    
I haven't made it all the way through the book, yet, but have to say
that it feels more like a polemic than a contribution to "parts of
our education system are underfunded. parts are broken. how do we
make things better."

Maybe that's what was intended--if the right can polarize and debate
straw men, so can we?

The discussion of Charter Schools is a good case in point. If I
remember correctly (and if she was reflecting what actually
happened), Diane Ravitz talked about Charter Schools as original an
idea from the national teacher's union to promote experimentation.
Ya'll blame it all on Milton Friedman. I agree that he's pretty
blameworthy for many things, I'm just not sure this is one of them.

I'm still very affected by the Dale Russakoff book on what happened
in Newark--much money wasted and virtually everyone involved (except
for the teachers in the classrooms) to blame--but that includes the
Newark School system crippled by rampant featherbedding--using the
schools as a way to provide employment to the often less competent,
in a city where employment is scarce.

See
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/23/books/review/the-prize-by-dale-russakoff.htm
l

So far, I feel the same frustration I often feel when discussing
public education--we can blame everything broken on the right, and
on people's unwillingness to fund education fairly (the latter is
certainly true of most places in this country most of the time, in
this regard).

How do we change that dynamic? Or, are we just exchanging polemics?
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #23 of 74: It's all done with mirrors... (kafclown) Mon 14 Dec 15 14:35
    
So Disney Magnet was named after Walt Disney, who has a Chicago 
connection. It's a public magnet school that started in the 70's 
with an open classroom architecture (each grade is in one giant room/pod 
that is separated by areas.) Admission is by lottery only (although 
siblings and neighborhood people have some kind of preference)  There's 
also the Tier system of chicago, which splits the city into 4 tiers 
loosely based on socio-economic census data.  20% of each class is 
reserved for different tiers, with the idea that there will be 
socio-economic diversity.  At Disney, it's worked pretty well.  Aaron's 
class of 34 students

The school is technology and arts focused,which makes perfect sense for a 
Disney school.  

I don't think Disney corp.  had much input, but Diane Disney Miller, 
Walt's daughter, has given money to the school.  She just passed away,and 
they dedicated the computer lab (partially funded by her family) to her.
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #24 of 74: Gail Williams (gail) Mon 14 Dec 15 19:02
    
Sounds like a good magnate school.  
  
inkwell.vue.486 : David Berliner & Gene Glass, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten American Public Schools.
permalink #25 of 74: jelly fish challenged (reet) Mon 14 Dec 15 19:44
    
It does.
  

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