The Increasing Ethnic Divide Between Schools Undermines Multiculturalism

A new study has documented increasing social and cultural polarisation within the public school system. Not only are middle-class parents opting out of local public schools in favour of private schools, but they are also opting out of some public schools in favour of others. The study shows that the increasing divide is undermining multiculturalism.

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Open Letter on Testing by Diane Ravitch

The US Senate is currently conducting hearings on the future of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation introduced by President George Bush Jnr. The hearings have focused first on the federally mandated testing regime for all US children in grades 3-8. The critical issue is whether there is too much testing in US schools. A huge opt-out movement against testing has developed. A key leader of the movement is Diane Ravitch a former Assistant Secretary of Education under President George Bush Snr. The Secretary of Education at the time was Lamar Alexander, now a Senator who is chairing the Senate committee hearings on the NCLB. Diane Ravitch has written the following open letter to the Senator calling on him to drop annual standardised testing in schools. Continue reading “Open Letter on Testing by Diane Ravitch”

More Evidence that School Comparisons Narrow the Curriculum

A new analysis of test data in New York State provides some interesting evidence that public comparisons of school results narrow the curriculum.

It suggests that schools in New York City are paying more attention to English and maths than science and social studies because these results are used to compare and grade schools. Continue reading “More Evidence that School Comparisons Narrow the Curriculum”

League Tables Increase Social Segregation and Inequity

Australia‚Äôs school system has a high degree of social segregation between schools and large inequities in outcomes between students from rich and poor families. These will probably increase following the agreement of Australian Governments, led by the Rudd Government, to introduce national reporting of individual school results. Continue reading “League Tables Increase Social Segregation and Inequity”