Article 43

 

Monday, April 21, 2008

Flattening Another Education Myth

homework.jpg

Report distorted the debate
Education reform is no cure-all for low-income, low-achieving schools

By Lawrence Mishel
Economic Policy Institute
April 18, 2008

FOR A QUARTER CENTURY, A Nation at Risk has set the terms of debate on education, with mixed results. Risk inspired reformers to prescribe high-stakes testing, culminating in No Child Left Behind. Schools are cutting back history, civics, the sciences, art and music, just to prepare for tests in math and reading.

Worse yet, Risk has distorted the debate on economic policy. In 1983, the economy really was at risk. Industries such as auto, steel, consumer electronics, and clothing and textiles were closing factories; unemployment approached 10%; and workers’ wages were flat lining.

Risk offered an explanation that was simple, seductive and wrong. The report claimed that increased market shares for Japanese automobiles, German machine tools and Korean steel reflected those nation’s superior schools. This analysis should have seemed flimsy then - and foolish later.

Didn’t automakers move plants to Mexico, where education levels are lower than in the USA? Meanwhile, foreign and domestic manufacturers set up low-wage, non-union factories in the southern states, where the schools were worse than in the industrial Midwest. Then, a decade after Risk was released, American workers’ productivity increased dramatically. Presumably, the graduates of the same schools that Risk decried were mastering modern technology.

Now that the economy is in a tailspin, Bush administration officials are blaming the schools. Yes, we need to improve education from kindergarten through grade 12, as well as expand opportunities for college education and career training. But we also need to fix the credit crisis, expand health coverage, renegotiate unfair trade deals, invest in transportation and technology, and restore workers’ rights to organize unions and bargain for better pay and benefits.

In fact, education reform, by itself, isn’t even the cure-all for low-performing schools in low-income neighborhoods. Kids in these communities need better nutrition, health care and dental care so that they can come to school ready to learn. As long as adults don’t have decent jobs with health coverage, children will have a hard time breaking the cycle of poverty. That’s a sobering thought on the 25th anniversary of A Nation at Risk.

SOURCE

Related Articles
FLATTENING THE GREAT EDUCATION MYTH
2008 JOB OUTLOOK
RISING OF THE TELECOM UNDERCLASS PART 7

Posted by Elvis on 04/21/08 •
Section Dying America
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home
Page 1 of 1 pages

Statistics

Total page hits 9705648
Page rendered in 0.8136 seconds
40 queries executed
Debug mode is off
Total Entries: 3222
Total Comments: 337
Most Recent Entry: 05/04/2020 08:41 am
Most Recent Comment on: 01/02/2016 09:13 pm
Total Logged in members: 0
Total guests: 6
Total anonymous users: 0
The most visitors ever was 172 on 12/25/2019 07:40 am


Email Us

Home

Members:
Login | Register
Resumes | Members

In memory of the layed off workers of AT&T

Today's Diversion

If you want to grow your own dope, plant a politician. - Anonymous

Search


Advanced Search

Sections

Calendar

April 2008
S M T W T F S
   1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30      

Must Read

Most recent entries

RSS Feeds

Today's News

ARS Technica

External Links

Elvis Picks

BLS Pages

Favorites

All Posts

Archives

RSS


Creative Commons License


Support Bloggers' Rights