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Five Best Blogs: More Signs Of The Reformapocalypse

image from www.motherjones.com

Being Poor in America Really Sucks Mother Jones:  In Canada, the least-advantaged kids manage to score at the 37th percentile. In the United States they score at only the 27th percentile. 

How Online Learning Companies Bought America's Schools The Nation:  Lobbyists like Levesque have made 2011 the year of virtual education reform, at last achieving sweeping legislative success by combining the financial firepower of their corporate clients with the seeming legitimacy of privatization-minded school-reform think tanks and foundations. 

The student teacher tsunami NCTQ:  We estimate that there are only about 750 elementary classrooms in the 30 districts that surround Phoenix that can provide ASU's  annual production of 730 elementary student teachers with the two most most critical ingredients necessary for a good clinical experience.

A key benchmark for teachers LA Times:  By refusing to entertain the notion that student progress — or lack of it — might have any connection with teacher effectiveness, unions are missing a chance to shape the way these assessments are used to evaluate teachers. 

The Tetris Effect The Awl:  A 2009 study of 400 players of the online role-playing game Asheron's Call found that the most devoted players of the game exhibited a number of behavioral and emotional characteristics that are also closely associated with Asperger's syndrome. 

Kids These Days of the Day The Daily What:  You know those stories of bygone days your grandpappy used to tell you about how he walked five miles in the snow, uphill, both ways, just to get some education? Except instead of 5 miles, it’s 125 miles. And instead of through the snow, it’s through four freezing rivers. And instead of uphill, it’s upmountain.

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There isn't even a hint of sociolinguistic analysis in Kevin Drum's piece in relation to the chart above. Let's hope he does better tomorrow. If he assumes that the linguistic environments of the homes of relatively poor people in Canada and the United States are the same, he's badly mistaken. That assumption would have had a chance a generation ago, but it's really implausible today. (Nor should we assume that the abilities at the high end of the scale are identical, either.)

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