A top global economic powerhouse receives test results that show its schoolchildren know less than those in other nations. This country decides to overhaul its education system by instituting new academic standards and tests to measure student learning tied to the new benchmarks. The country also engages in deep soul-searching about its ability to integrate and intellectually elevate its most disadvantaged students.
Sound familiar? This is the story of Germany, not the United States, though both countries went down the same road during the same time period, from 2001 to today.
Yet Germany is cautiously celebrating a national success story, while US test scores continue to decline. Why? I looked into the reasons for The Atlantic.
Some advocates for students with disabilities want them to be tested annually, along with everyone else, because, they say this helps them get access to high-quality education after decades of exclusion. Other scholars and parents disagree, strongly. I tracked the debate for The Atlantic's web site.
I've been fascinated by Nigeria ever since I was scheduled to go there as a young child with my mother, who was doing health research outside Ibadan. In the end, she thought better of bringing a four-year-old to meet ailing folks in the middle of a strange (to her) country, and my sole souvenir of the ghost trip is a smallpox vaccination scar. I circle back to the country and its oblong parallels to ours in a review of photographs of contemporary Nigerian monarchs at the Newark Museum for ARTnews.
Belatedly posting my lengthy late-summer feature in Next City about progressive education and high-poverty students. I looked for schools that were doing a great job educating majority high-poverty students with constructivist techniques more frequently since in high-income, private schools. I found a few. Download Nextcityurbanpedagogy
We stopped in Bend, OR, on the dusty overland road from Portland to Northern California, and look what we found: a terrific Asian fusion food-cart-turned-restaurant that rivals the mothership, Pok Pok. I wrote about Spork for the New York Times.