Construct Validity – it’s a big deal

Experiment: Figuring out why the statistics don’t seem to tell the whole story. Here are two charts of the same question showing the responses according to political party affiliation. These come from the PDK/Gallup Survey of Education. I’ll admit some confirmation bias that I expected the results to be bad, but I did not guess the difference in responses…

What is the biggest challenge facing education?

Experiment: Find out more This question was posed to me in one of my classes. What is the biggest challenge facing education today? I had five minutes to write and wrote this first paragraph. I believe that the biggest challenge facing education today is income inequality and its effects. The widening gap between the rich…

Poems of the PhD 2

Teachers, are you a subject of the market? Ready to run away from responsibility At the slightest sign of something you don’t agree with? Or resilient? Getting through the tough times And knowing there will be more. But I wonder Do your superiors Or your school Or the corporation Feel that same way towards you?…

Should we rank schools?

Experiment: Finding the reality behind an argument A colleague recently shared this article about the disagreements about ranking secondary schools in Finland. The prevailing discourse in the US, the UK, and in many parts of the world is that ranking schools is a way to ensure that all schools are excellent. The idea is that competition would…

Why is business interested in education?

Experiment: Explore causation where there may be none. I keep coming back to a single question; What is the motivation for businesses to become involved in education? If you’re not convinced that education is moving out of the hands of government and into the hands of business, I highly recommend this book. There are two answers that…

How do we perceive “failing”?

Experiment: A little tiny bit of a bigger argument. The current discourse around education is that it is failing, that schools are terrible, and that the only way to ensure better education is through fundamental change. The evidence surrounding this claim is much more interesting than I would have expected. American parents surveyed reported “generally…

The Pawn Teacher

Experiment: Synthesize a few different pieces of literature In current systems of accountability and appraisal, teachers are usually the focus. We ensure that standards are clear for teachers, that curriculum is aligned, and that expectations are high. These accountability measures come from state agencies or legislation which assume a sort of “inputs” and “outputs” model.…

Poems of the PhD

There is an assumption That “student achievement” is the goal The expert says: “What else would it be?” But we are humans Greedy, selfish, with “disinterested interest.” But also altruistic, concerned, social justice warriors. Believing that positive interactions with students Can overcome even the worst torments of school culture That passion and love of the…

Women’s Work

Experiment: Analyzing the elephant in the room (This picture is one half of my family. I’ve realized that in my family, of 8 people trained to be teachers, all but 2 are female. My great grandmother and my grandmother were teachers, they were groundbreaking! . . . but why so few men?) Discussion of the…

Individualism

Experiment: Explaining neoliberalism from the “wild” I received this letter from the Nottingham City Council after applying for school busing for my son. I’ve highlighted the part that struck me. Perhaps there is nothing wrong here, or maybe this is one of those statements that suddenly brings the hidden into the light of day. From a rational…