Tuesday, May 27, 2014

More Research Against NCLB

There is little evidence to support the argument that the accountability and choice movement works for most kids. In fact, evidence has been mounting for years that it is the worst approach to ensuring a quality education for all. Of course this has done little to influence pundits and policy makers love affair with charters and testing. The latest study pushing back against the ill-advised NCLB and it's many offshoots comes from researchers at the Uviersity of Washington and University of Maine finding that students perform better in active learning classrooms -- even for STEM classes. While the study focuses on higher education,  comparing lecture-only versus mixed pedagogical approaches, it does offer further evidence that the pressures of high stakes testing, teaching to the test, step-by-step instructions and other rote memorization strategies are ill-equipped to improve student performance -- or learning. But can the building momentum influence decision makers? One hopes so, though recent anecdotal evidence makes me less sanguine. 

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