Gordon, a former attorney and would-be educational reformer, spent a few months working at Tweed and doing a quick “hit job” on our schools by designing the fundamentally unfair “fair student funding” system. This system would have cut the budgets of half of our failing schools by over $400,000 if fully implemented– and still won’t give them a dime to improve conditions, whether that be reducing class size or doing anything else.
Now he’s back at the Center for American Progress – the supposedly liberal DC think tank which is led by lawyer John Podesta and where they have lots more lawyers who know nothing about education but are full of ideas about how to make poor urban schools even worse than they are. Interestingly, they never would conceive of the same solutions for the schools where their own kids go to school.
There's a new article by Robert Gordon in Slate on how to fix NCLB -- though he sees little to change. Here Gordon actually argues that improving our schools, is merely a matter of educators setting "clear and high expectations" for themselves and their students.” And we know what that means -- lots more testing, little learning.
He’s wrong on Texas by the way – studies show that the state's emphasis on high stakes testing did nothing to raise its students' test scores on the NAEP. Actually, the actual rise in achievement and the narrowing of the achievement gap came years before, when the state actually improved learning conditions by reducing class size in grades K-4 -- a reform proposed by a commission led by none other than Ross Perot.