10 Education Reform Tactics That Hurt Students and Don’t Improve Education

black student1. Deluging schools with tests  in every grade and every subject beginning with pre-kindergarten, to the point where little else goes on in school but preparing for tests.

2. Pushing the arts out of a central role in the life and culture of public schools.

3. Demoralizing teachers, especially the most talented and experienced teachers, by subjecting them to evaluations based on junk science

4. Discriminating against special needs and English Language Learner (ELL) students by giving favorable treatment to charter schools which exclude or drive out such students, and forcing such students to take tests that are developmentally inappropriate for them

5. Destabilizing communities by closing schools that have been important community institutions for generations.

6. Undermining the mentoring and relationship building that are at the core of great teaching, especially in poor and working class communities, by raising class size and substituting online learning for direct instruction without thinking through the consequences of such policies on young people who need personal attention and guidance.

7. Creating such unrealistic pressure on schools, and on administrators and teaching staffs, that cheating on tests becomes endemic.

8. Giving billionaire philanthropists, and wealthy companies which provide services to schools such power over education policy smothering the voices of teachers, parents and students.

9. Replacing veteran teachers, often teachers of color, with poorly trained Teach for America Corps members,most of them white, who go through a 5 week training period before being given their own class, and often leave for other professions after their two year teaching commitment is completed.

mark naison10. Adding to mental health problems of students by spending so much on testing that school districts have to fire school counselors, and to the physical problems of students by transforming gym and recess and after school programs into test prep removing opportunities for exercise and play.

Mark Naison
With A Brooklyn Accent

Sunday 21 January 2013


  1. S.S. says

    It is honestly so sick, SO SICK, with what is going on with the American education system. I just read an article that Asia has the highest international test score in the math and sciences and that American is lagging behind. In my mind I though so what! So What?! Why would I want my country to be forced to live their life teaching to an exam. An exam does not show the potential nor intelligence of an individual. Teaching to an exam what the hell kind of education is that?! That is not education nor learning that is memorization and regurgitation and just breeds a society to be dumb as hell. All these students will be expecting the same problem and they cannot even be creative enough when they are thrown a problem they cannot solve. Life and the real world is full of those. Junk science is really taking over and damaging our future.

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