Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Most public school reformers are products of private schools

On another post, Cynical wrote:

"Add Mark Roosevelt to this list:


Most of today's education reformers are products of private schools. My favorite quote:

Bill Gates (Lakeside School, Seattle) has donated billions of dollars to public schools with the proviso that they carry out his vision of reform, including tying teacher tenure decisions to students' test scores. In November, Mr. Gates and Mr. Duncan (University of Chicago Laboratory School) called on public school leaders to increase class size as a way of cutting costs in these hard times. The two men suggested that schools could compensate by striving to have an excellent teacher in every classroom. The private school Mr. Gates attended has an average class size of 16, according to its Web site. The home page says the best thing about Lakeside School is it "promotes relationships between teachers and students through small class sizes." Mr. Duncan's private school has an average class size of 19."


Questioner said...

Maybe the private school backgrounds are a reason these reformers so often find it difficult to see the value of the history, traditions and programs in the public schools affected by their reforms.

Anonymous said...

good point questioner these so call REFORMERS Gates/Broad had small size class rooms was able to get high acdemic learning i now show you why
they recieve more attention
there was less distraction in class room
teachers had more time to teach than deal with discipline
they were able to be more involve in their class,etc.

my point is they were able to have success in their live by being products of small classes.
i think that this reminds me of
really don't want our kids!!! to be
successful like them meanig larger
classes saves DOLLARS ask yourself
who benefit yes the WEALTHY yes the
WEALTHY more for their POCKETS enclosing this is nothing but a sham not about EDUCATION yet the
DOLLAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i say now lets OUTSOURCE large CLASS ROOM

Anonymous said...

For starters:

“Laboratory” schools, generally, are unique, private, isolated, selective, and autonomous schools where University Faculty send their children. One of the goals is to experiment with best practices and develop innovative reforms that can enhance educational practice at a broader level.

Take note of the adjectives here that set “lab” schools apart (far apart) from public schools: laboratory, unique, private, isolated, selective, experimental, innovative and autonomous. The children who attend have already been educated in the exclusive social and professional environment of ‘professorial’ families.

Students at “laboratory” are among the most educationally advantaged of all children.

Public schools, typically, serve the most disadvantaged of children and are, by definition and description, mutually exclusive of the adjectives set forth here.

Questioner said...

Lab schools are a lot more common at the K-8 level, thoug. Strong public highschools tend to serve a range of students, from the most to the least advantaged.

aparent said...

Arne Duncan should not be sec'y of ed.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if that isn't why a lot of what works in a "lab school" doesn't translate well to a more normal public school.

Small classes of children who come to school with huge amounts of content knowledge already, with lots of reading heard and observed, and with a desire to learn in an academic setting modeled in their home are a lot easier to teach and have progress. No matter how you teach them, they're likely to show good progress. If they don't, their parents are very likely to either research and work with them at home or to hire private tutors.

So procedures that come out "vetted" from this atmosphere may look and sound great -- but not work in far more heterogeneous classrooms with far more students and without the home resources as available.

Anonymous said...

Yes, 9:11, no need to "wonder" as the conclusions you draw are appropriate, even the expected, given the
"lab school" conditions.

There are few bases for comparison between laboratory and public school, instead only contrasts.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Botique Schools are lab schools too, yes?

Anonymous said...

What kind of boutique schools? Do they cost money to attend and have class sizes of 10-18? Do they pick and choose who attends via an application process? Do they ask children who aren't "good fits" to leave?

Usually a boutique school is made around an already developed idea or concept (Montessori, Waldorf), while a lab school considers itself to be constantly evolving in response to new research, ideas and understanding. (Whether or not they really do is up for grabs.)

Anonymous said...

Do you think that if the students assigned to CEP had the same advantages as Arne Duncan and Bill Gates that they would be banished to "special" schools created for outcasts?