Entries by Freddie deBoer

Anecdotal Evidence, True or False, Can’t Help Us

It comes as little surprise to me that one of the leaders of the school reform movement is a serial fabulist. The entire movement is built on an edifice of plausible-sounding narratives that are always revealed to be empty when you give them a skeptical reading. On issue after issue within education, the education reform […]

Early Life and Literacy

This short piece from the Times illustrates a point I’ve been making for a long time: a lot of our educational difficulties probably stem from inequality in prerequisite skills that are developed prior to formal schooling. Or perhaps skills isn’t even the proper term, as what we’re talking about might best be understood as acquired […]

Bobby Jindal’s Voucher Schools: American Indians On the Trail of Tears Were Just Coming to Jesus

Part of the deal with libertarianism, in my experience, is that you get to embrace the “me first” economic school while still holding your nose about those churchy rubes in mainstream conservatism. You get all of that welfare mother hating without that anti-science, apocalyptic aftertaste. The only problem is that you always end up supporting […]

What’s the mixture?

It’s looking like a mutually beneficial deal is coming soon in the Chicago teacher strike, and I’m glad if so. Matt Yglesias has a post up that I think is really worth reading. One of the things that I’ve been trying to tease out in this discussion is a contradiction within the conventional, shall we […]

Inferential statistics are powerful.

One of the contentious aspects of the Chicago teacher strike is the role of standardized testing. As is typical of the reform movement, the Chicago school district is pushing for even more standardized testing. Teachers are resistant for a variety of reasons. Research suggests that increased standardized testing does not improve student outcomes, although those […]