I had to dumb down in order to fit in

Negative Images ‘Brainwash’ African Americans   
March 18, 2010

Tom Burrell spent more than 40 years in advertising, and was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame.

what you do is you kind of fake it till you make it.
And you think, well, maybe either I’m the exception to the rule. Or you think that, well, maybe I’m not as good or as smart as people think that I am, and maybe I’ll just keep trying to fool them.

So in our attempt in a materialistic, capitalistic society, to gain somebody-ness, what do we do?
In a materialistic society, we try to do it through getting stuff and owning stuff.
And it’s not a matter of buying things that we can’t show off.
It’s all about things that we can show off, that basically are saying here, look at me, world. I am somebody.

And you have this illusion of progress, you know, or even a delusion of progress, that just doesn’t take away the fact that after all of the efforts that have been made, we are still, as a people, at the top of just about every bad list and at the bottom of just education, income, … just go through the list.

Fast-forward, you get this thing called progress.
Then black comedians came in and says hey, you guys don’t have to do that, we’ll do it. We’ll take it over.
And they have taken it over to the point where, like in the use of the N-word, for instance, white people can’t even begin to say it as fast as we can say it and with such conviction.
And we own it as if we are being empowered by it, when in fact what we’re doing is we’re continuing to damage ourselves with it.

Carter G. Woodson, a famous black historian, talked about the idea that African-Americans have been basically conditioned to go around to the back door, and if there is no back door, we will insist on one.

“D’s Will Do: Why Do We Expect So Little Of Ourselves and Each Other?.”
And there are several reasons why that happens. I mean, there is lower expectations means fewer disappointments.
You know, if you are taught that blacks are inferior, then you set up your own substrata of – for performance. The other thing is that you basically become comfortable with negative behavior, so then being smart gets interpreted as acting white. Because to act – to be smart, is also to be different. And to be different means that you try – you’re trying to be better than we are, those who aren’t striving.

I had my own situation when I was in grade school.
I was doing pretty well in fourth grade, but I saw myself being moved away from my peers who were basically into the-D’s-will-do category, and they basically started to reject me so I had to dumb down in order to fit in. And we get that phenomenon going on all the time.

see also:



NCTQ Teacher Prep Review

NCTQ Teacher Prep Review
June 18, 2013

As a result, the burden of training has shifted from the teacher preparation program to the novice teacher—or more accurately, the new teacher’s employer.
The consequences of this shift have not been good for the profession or for public schools. (p. 6)

Because of its remarkable record of educational success, Finland has often been cited as a source of wisdom about everything from the supposed “dangers” of standardized testing to the proper aesthetics of school architecture.
What is not so well known is what it took for Finland to become a paragon of educational virtues: the radical restruct uring of its teacher preparation system.
Raising the standards of teacher preparation in Finland ultimately raised the status of the teaching profession. Now Finland’s best and brightest !ercely compete to get into its prestigious teacher training programs. And, as the renowned educational analyst Pasi Sahlberg notes, only medicine is perceived by Finns to be a more desirable occupation for a potential spouse than teaching. (p. 9)

High-performing nations, such as Finland, South Korea and Singapore, are all notable for their top-notch teacher training systems. All three draw candidates from at least the top-third of the college-going population, …

Undoubtedly, new teachers will always learn a lot in their 1rst year on the job, as anyone does when starting a new profession.
However, the expectations for novice teachers’ competencies are far too low given the impact on student learning and the fact that students who are already far behind their peers are much more likely to be assigned such teachers.

Lesson Planning: plan instruction for their future students who will need special consideration: students with special needs, English language learners and students who know the material before the lesson even begins. (p. 47)

one element of consistency does emerge: the direction to teacher candidates to plan for instruction that considers students’ “learning styles.”
Unfortunately, this recommendation has been thoroughly discredited by research as ineffectual [26] and distracts the candidate from more productive planning considerations. Nonetheless, the “pseudo science” that learning styles be considered in planning lessons is advocated by threefourths (74 percent) of programs. (p. 48)
[related: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_styles]

The fact that 866 different reading textbooks—the majority of which are partly or wholly unscientific—are used to teach the seminal skill needs by elementary and special education teachers is a testament to this abdication of responsibility, an abdication that has very real consequences for our nation’s children. (p. 94)



Teaching is complex work that is difficult to rationalize from afar

A Nation Still At Risk: How We Can Fix Our Schools
Steve Denning

Today, apart from a few core skills like reading, writing, math, thinking, imagining and creating, we cannot know what knowledge or skills will be needed when young Freddie or tiny Janet grows up.

What would “organizational processes that govern the work where it is going to be carried out” look like in a world aimed at creating a capacity for lifelong learning?
Mr. Mehta’s book offers scant treatment of what they would look like.
Yet we know from other work in Agile software development and radical management what they would look like.

Values: There needs to be shift from a focus on economic value and efficiency to the values that are relevant to coping with rapid change and complexity: transparency, continuous improvement and sustainability.

Respecting Goodhart’s law: The current focus on testing has tended to make test results the goal of the system, rather than a measure.
The change in goal means recognizing that a test is only measure.
Using tests as the goal infringes Goodhart’s Law: when measure becomes the goal, it ceases to be an effective measure. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodhart%27s_law

Every other sector of the economy is being disrupted by information technology. In education, the disruption is just beginning *.

we now know what to do. Unlike many ideas now being pursued in education, the shift doesn’t require years of research or vast funding. It doesn’t involve reinventing the wheel. Thousands of Montessori schools have been on this track for many years, with extraordinary results.

Question for research: How complex is K-12 education?

* July 1, 2013

How hard is teaching?
Giving a presentation to NASA about how the thermal protection system of a spacecraft is connected to its primary structure is a cakewalk compared to …

School reform in 3 major cities brings few benefits, some harm

School reform in 3 major cities brings few benefits, some harm
April 13, 2013

a new study on the effects of this movement in Washington, D.C., New York City and Chicago concludes that little has been accomplished and some harm has been done to students, especially the underprivileged.

The full study, titled “Market-oriented education reforms’ rhetoric trumps reality,” was conducted by Elaine Weiss and Don Long of the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education initiative, which was convened in 2008 by Economic Policy Institute President Larry Mishel in an effort to champion a well-rounded approach to education that goes beyond test-based accountability.

Market-oriented education reform refers to a series of initiatives that include educator evaluations based in large part on student standardized test scores, the closure of schools that are considered failing or underenrolled, and an increase in the number of charter schools, many of which are operated by for-profit companies.

The Allure of Order: … American Schooling

Let’s learn the lessons of education reform at last, author says
May 21, 2013

Author Jal Mehta points out that the schools keep being asked to do the same thing, over and over — that is, prove by quantifiable measurement that they are achieving progress.
The approach hasn’t worked before, he says, and it isn’t working now.

Rather, Mehta says, schools should be trying something new: creating a genuinely different system that attracts the best teachers and gives them the skills and resources they need to do the job.

“On the whole, we still have the same teachers, in the same roles, with the same level of knowledge, in the same schools, with the same materials, and much the same level of parental support.”

“Teaching requires a professional model, like we have in medicine, law, engineering, accounting, architecture and many other fields. In these professions, consistency of quality is created less by holding individual practitioners accountable and more by building a body of knowledge, carefully training people in that knowledge, requiring them to show expertise before they become licensed, and then using their professions’ standards to guide their work.”

Mehta’s new book is “The Allure of Order: High Hopes, Dashed Expectations, and the Troubled Quest to Remake American Schooling,”

5:32 you know, there’s a loophole …

6:10 comparisons of teacher hours and effectiveness: teachers in countries such as Finland and South Korea spend significantly less time actually teaching in the classroom and yet the students scores are higher and those countries have some of the best public education systems in the world
a key part of it is the planning. In Japan, for example, there is this thing called Lesson Study
Japan, South Korea: 500 -600  hours; in the USA: 1080. That is 70 – 80% more

Creative Classes: An Artful Approach To Improving Performance

a three-part series about the intersection of education and the arts.

Part I:
Creative Classes: An Artful Approach To Improving Performance 
April 16, 2013
if test scores do improve at these schools, should the credit go to the arts? Child psychologist Ellen Winner says no.
“We could not find any studies that convinced us that there was a causal link between teaching the arts and performance on test scores,” Winner says.
“And we thought that this made a lot of sense because the kinds of thinking skills and habits of mind that students learn when they study the arts are a far cry from what’s tested on multiple-choice, standardized tests.”

The Turnaround Arts Initiative

Part II:
More Than 50 Years Of Putting Kids’ Creativity To The Test
April 17, 2013
the Next Generation Creativity Survey, it’s used to help measure creativity a bit like an IQ test measures intelligence.

James Catterall, a psychologist and director of the Centers for Research on Creativity in Los Angeles, says the simple answer is that if society, business and education demands creativity, then we need to know when it’s happening

part III:
In D.C., Art Program Turns Boys’ Lives Into ‘Masterpieces’
April 18, 2013

Life Pieces to Masterpieces