Education Reform with Marion Brady

Review Comments and Discussions



Education Reform with Marion Brady - Let's Talk about it!
Post a Comment
Greg Galvez - 12/8/2011

I read your article on "The School Board Member Who Took a Standardized Test" and thought it was brilliant. I want you to realize that the problem is much worse than that in some states. I teach in Victorville, California at Discovery School of The Arts (Public school K-6.) Before we give the state test we must sign an affidavit stating that we will not study the test, share the test, or release the test to anyone. If we were to allow a school board member to take the test, the teacher, principal, and/or the superintendent could be in jeopardy of losing one's teaching and/or administration credential. This would be a serious violation to the rules of testing. Something needs to be done nationally. People don't realize that teachers are being forced to teach to a test that is brutal on students' self-esteem. As a teacher I find myself being forced to get away from reading and writing and focus strictly on preparing for a test. I get good results teaching to a test; I am herald as an effective teacher because I get good results. Our school has an API of 870 which anything over 800 is great. We are now pushing for the 900 mark and our staff is busting their brains out to achieve this goal. The truth is, I'm a horrible teacher because I must spend 90% of my time teaching and preparing for a state exam. I know most teachers feel this way, but we are forced by are government and leadership to go this route. People wonder why America has dropped in its creativity. We use to be first at submitting the most patents for inventions in the world. Now we're falling behind in learning so kids can become better test takers. Yea, No Child Left Behind mean No Child Steps Forward. I hope the information shared helps. It's nice to know other teachers are frustrated over the same situation. Thanks, Greg Galvez

Paul Goode - 9/8/2012

Full disclosure: I was employed by Microsoft from 1990-98. I am not personally or professionally acquainted with either Bill or Melinda Gates. While I agree that standardized tests are an educational chimera, your article "Outing ACT: Test-and-Punish Doesn't Educate, but It's Profitable for Testing Companies" does little to advance the discourse. I doubt that the Gates' are trying to sell anything. It's more likely that they accept the validity of standardized testing and have put their money where there mouth is, just as they have by investing millions of dollars in libraries, global development initiatives, and global health initiatives -- to name a few. As for the Gates' alleged theory that American schools are "soft" when they must be "hard" (quotes yours), please source that, including the quotes. To provide context, you might also mention the over $10M that the Gates Foundation has granted via such education programs such as Gateway to College, Aspire Pubic Schools, and Rainier Scholars. If the goal of your article is to convince the Foundation of the error of its ways, a sarcastic attack piece isn't a good start. I suggest a reasoned approach instead.

Susan Ohanian says:

Full Disclosure: I have been researching the impact of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's impact on public school policy since 2003. (  A query for "Gates Foundation" will generate 750 hits and plenty of Context.

Gale - 5/11/2016

This isn't really about education reform...but it was something that seemed to fit better here than the other forums. I love the idea of teaching ways of thinking THROUGH other subjects like history. I had thought that science would be another subject that would work well for this method, and today I came across a homeschool curriculum called "Devloping Critical Thinking Through Science" that seems to be based on that idea. The review I read said "The critical thinking component of these books is crucial. The underlying philosophy lays out three steps in learning science skills and concepts: "doing through direct, firsthand experiences in an interactive, open atmosphere; constructing by building their knowledge through guided inquiry; [and] connecting by relating their learning to the world around them." ( I was wondering if anyone here had tried these and what they thought? Also, if anyone had come across any other curriculums or learning material which worked on this idea of teaching ways of thinking through a subject.

Post a Comment