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Weekend Reading: What You Might Have Missed

Over the weekend I tweet out stories from mazazines and longform sites that are of interest, using the hashtag #thisweekined.  It's sort of like Five Best Blogs, except for the weekend: 

Kruger_project5_9051In Andrew Solomon's new book, parents - like teachers - try to understand children much unlike themselves ow.ly/fo2x8

90 of the 105 candidates backed by StudentsFirst were Republicans, says Salon's @DanielDenvir ow.ly/fnqRF

Residency Program Tops UT and TFA on TN Teacher-Prep Report Card - Teacher Beat - Education Weekow.ly/fmf6w

Jonathan Chait on the Democrats' Class-War Triumph -- New York Magazine ow.ly/fo2mR

The Fifteen “Twitterers” Whose Tweets I Read First @Larryferlazzo ow.ly/fnLNH 

Latest BloombergEDU has Joe Williams, Joy Resmovits, Scott Elliott, and Alyson Klein ow.ly/fo4kO 

MA supe Paul Reville sheds light on the future of education policy ow.ly/foeGg @HarvardGSE

Unlike DC, Baltimore takes test tampering seriously: What would happen if the D.C. school syst... bit.ly/SGEl9S

Train plows into school bus in Egypt, 50 killed | Reuters ow.ly/fogrH


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The interview with Paul Reville was interesting to listen to. After 20 years of exemplary education reform in Massachusetts has failed to narrow the achievement gap by much, state leaders ought to be pausing to reflect, rather than plowing ahead with the same reform strategies that are already producing diminishing returns. Under consideration should be (1) the ideas of Stephen and Abigail Thernstrom, who, in "No Excuses", delineate the huge effects of home cultures on student achievement; (2) the possibility that the achievement gap can't be closed, at least in the coming decades, just as it hasn't been eliminated anywhere in the world in the most recent decades; and (3) that (unlike the opportunity gap, which must be eliminated for reasons of moral equity) its elimination is not a worthwhile goal, since the crucial research of Smithers and Robinson, which I have repeatedly cited (please see the Sutton Trust's "Choice and Selection in School Admissions", Chapter 8), shows that societies with wider achievement gaps have, on the whole, better educated people, or at least more knowledgeable citizens, than those with smaller achievement gaps.

Finland has a 5% child poverty rate and the best education results in the world. The USA has a 20% child poverty rate and is #17 in the world. The people rest their case.

Equality of Opportunity vs Equality of Outcomes or results is the core of the right left debate in education.

IMHO if the results are not equal, then the opportunity was not equal. Failure to see this means the observer has racist or classist opinions.

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