The trouble with “innovation” in schools

Washington Post - I was sitting among a large crowd of students and teachers at the Chicago Public Schools Video Fair. It was 1998 — four years before No Child Left Behind was signed into law, but already three years into Chicago’s own march toward test-driven “accountability.”

I listened as a high-level district administrator stepped to the podium to congratulate a group of my seventh graders on winning the festival’s top prize. Their video, which they’d made in my media studies class, was a portrayal of how racist attitudes are passed on from adults to children.

I don’t recall all of the administrator’s words, but I remember her commending the students, recognizing our school’s media studies program, and ending with, “I’m sure participating in this program is really raising the students’ reading scores!” Read more.


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