Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Education is not a belief system.

The ed world is abuzz with the news that the charter school started by Stanford University's ed school is being shut down. They set out to prove that their beliefs in the education school's esteemed knowledge of learning did actually equate to successful student achievement. Turns out their beliefs may be horribly wrong.

The reason the ed reform world is so happy is that for years we have heard about what is 'known' in education and that if we don't comply with what they "believe in", we are not doing things the right way. There was never any real hard data, it was just a given that they had to be doing the right things. In my own fights, I kept thinking that this isn't religion - we can't be having a debate about what you believe is right for kids.

And then their school which employed these beliefs got shut down for having miserably dismal performance. They are failing students in a huge way. Everyone felt good about the school using these beliefs but the kids can't read.

It is sad for the students but hopefully a wake up call for policymakers that education is not a belief system - decisions must be based on the reality of data.