05 August 2011

"Education reform" is a much broader domain than it is usually treated as

EconLog | Arnold Kling | Schools without Classrooms:

Most education reformers want to focus on low-end students. While this is a noble idea, I think it is not a good path for reform. When you fail, you do not know whether it is because the innovations were not good or because the student population is too difficult to reach.
I think the idea that reform is equivalent to reform for low-end students is very destructive. In everything I have read about education, and everything I saw Mrs SB7 read when she was getting her teaching certificate last year, I have never seen anyone who did not treat it as an iron-bound axiom that reforming things for the bottom of the distribution was the highest priority. Often it was the only priority.

Maybe that is the correct approach, but I would like that to be demonstrated to me rather than being assumed into truth.

For instance, how many times have you heard someone say some variation on "we need our best and brightest young teachers in inner city schools"? That might be the correct resource allocation, but why? Might it better to match up the very best teachers with the very best students? I am more than willing to hear reasons why that would be bad, but I am not interested in assertions that it would be bad.


  1. Often this increased focus on the worst performing students is done at the expense of focusing on the gifted and talented students. Think about it: we are taking effort away from our future leaders and achievers to apply that effort to those who are not even likely to graduate.

  2. That's exactly what I'm thinking.

  3. you are right... you can also find latest Graduate Education alerts online.