50 Myths & Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools: The Real Crisis in Education by David C. Berliner, Gene Glass, and Associates

Cyber Schools and Home Schooling

  • Cyber schools have become popular due to fact that they cost a lot less. They don’t require administration, support staff, or facilities. Teachers may serve up to 200 students and many aren’t certified. Available data shows poor achievement and high dropout rates. Subjects like physical education, the arts, and lab sciences all take a back seat to instruction that is often of the drill and kill variety. Some even outsource grading of written assignments. There is no accountability and many states have put moratoriums on the expansion of this type of charter school.
  • Home schoolers often use cyber resources as parents seldom have the ability to do their own lesson plans and curricula. Studies that show success for home schoolers do not take parent education and resources into consideration, and poor people and single parents seldom engage in home schooling. Once kids get to high school parents are often unable to teach the more advanced subjects so most kids return to real schools. There is no evidence that home schooling is better. I think it probably is for some if they have the right parental support. Bright kids won’t be constrained by the one-size-fits-all pacing of most schools. Some parents can set up science labs and it’s easy to pay for private music, dance, and art lessons and trips to the gym with a private trainer.

Competitions and School Ratings

  • A big push from politicians and business is that competition will improve education at all levels. This myth is easy to bust based on the fact that the so-called competition is unfair. Wealthier parents are the ones more likely to have real choices. Even charter schools game the system and end up with students who have more resources than students they don’t take. Private and charter schools have teachers with fewer credentials and who tend to stick to traditional teaching methods like lecturing. What’s happening is that public schools that are asked to compete serve the neediest students.
  • If you are looking for the best schools, the current rating systems will point you at the schools that serve the wealthiest students. The ratings look at AP and IB courses, graduation rates, college admission rates, and SAT/ACT scores. Such criteria strongly correlate with wealth so these rating systems (Newsweek, US. News) are a sham.
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One Response to “50 Myths & Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools: The Real Crisis in Education by David C. Berliner, Gene Glass, and Associates”

  1. […] These aren’t easy problems to solve. But we need to think about how to tackle them now. Otherwise, our children’s standard of schooling will be rapidly sliding downhill. […]

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