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THOMPSON: Research and Common Sense

JohnEaston It is naive to believe that education policy could be shaped by the excellent research of the Chicago Schools Consortium or Catalyst, or the practical wisdom that can be found on district299.com. To believe that, you would have to believe that the United States would elect as president a Black intellectual with a Muslim name who believes that schools alone can not close the achievement gap.

But still, it was great to read this memo to teachers attached to a study by the Consortium:

"You (teachers) don’t like disrupting your lessons for test preparation. And you find it as dull as your students do. But you face tremendous pressure to improve your school’s test scores. ...You may have put your lesson plans on hold, convinced that practicing test questions will boost scores. But guess what? It doesn’t work. In fact, sometimes it hurts. ACT scores are actually lower in schools where teachers spend large amounts of class time on test prep.  So what works? Good grades. Demanding instruction. An environment focus on preparing students for college."

Sounds obvious, right?"  - John Thompson


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