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Educational Policy Fall, 2008 Why do we educate? The essential question for understanding educational policy. Nick Michelli Presidential Professor Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Educational Policy Fall, 2008 Why do we educate? The essential question for understanding educational policy. Nick Michelli Presidential Professor Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Educational Policy Fall, 2008 Why do we educate? The essential question for understanding educational policy. Nick Michelli Presidential Professor Ph.D. Program in Urban Education

3 Why do we educate? For the most substantive answers to this question, it is a matter of worldview. George Lakoff, Moral Politics and Whose Freedom?: The Battle over Americas Most Important Idea For the most substantive answers to this question, it is a matter of worldview. George Lakoff, Moral Politics and Whose Freedom?: The Battle over Americas Most Important Idea

4 W.B. Gallies Contribution Essentially Contested Concepts: Inherently subject to multiple interpretations, depending on your values, concerns, experiences, goals, and beliefs Democracy, freedom, social justice, and, yes, education. Essentially Contested Concepts: Inherently subject to multiple interpretations, depending on your values, concerns, experiences, goals, and beliefs Democracy, freedom, social justice, and, yes, education.

5 What is the context in which we work? There is increasing focus by policy makers and others on student achievement measured by standardized tests (NCLB). There is increasing pressure to tie teacher compensation to student achievement measured by standardized tests. (The Teaching Commission, Denver, NYC) What matters is what we measure. (Al Shanker) Not everything that we count counts, and not everything that counts can be counted (Al Einstein) There is increasing focus by policy makers and others on student achievement measured by standardized tests (NCLB). There is increasing pressure to tie teacher compensation to student achievement measured by standardized tests. (The Teaching Commission, Denver, NYC) What matters is what we measure. (Al Shanker) Not everything that we count counts, and not everything that counts can be counted (Al Einstein)

6 A Perfect Storm Standards Based Schooling Value-added Accountabilitymeasuring the impact of teachers on individual student performance on tests. Evidence Based Practice with confidence in tests Continued inadequate funding of public urban education Standards Based Schooling Value-added Accountabilitymeasuring the impact of teachers on individual student performance on tests. Evidence Based Practice with confidence in tests Continued inadequate funding of public urban education

7 What are the public purposes of education? 1. Preparing students to have access to knowledge and critical thinking within the disciplines.

8 Analysis Is this a recognized public purpose of education? What evidence is there that it is or is not? Are there any essentially contested concepts subject to worldviews here? How do you define them? Do any theoretical constructs support or refute your position? What evidence is there in policy that this is or is not a public purpose of education? Is this a recognized public purpose of education? What evidence is there that it is or is not? Are there any essentially contested concepts subject to worldviews here? How do you define them? Do any theoretical constructs support or refute your position? What evidence is there in policy that this is or is not a public purpose of education? Preparing students to have access to knowledge and critical thinking within the disciplines.

9 Michellis Analysis The meaning of access to knowledge The meaning of critical thinking Why within the disciplines? What about procedural knowledge? The meaning of access to knowledge The meaning of critical thinking Why within the disciplines? What about procedural knowledge? Preparing students to have access to knowledge and critical thinking within the disciplines.

10 Critical Thinking: What can it be? Cognitive psychologists vs. Philosophers Matthew Lipmans conception CT is thinking that leads to good judgment because it is: based on criteria, sensitive to context, and open to correction in a community of inquiry. Cognitive psychologists vs. Philosophers Matthew Lipmans conception CT is thinking that leads to good judgment because it is: based on criteria, sensitive to context, and open to correction in a community of inquiry.

11 What are the public purposes of education? 2. Preparing students to be active, involved, socially just participants in our democracy.

12 Analysis Is this a recognized public purpose of education? What evidence is there that it is or is not? Are there essentially contested concepts subject to worldviews? How do you define them? Do any theoretical constructs support or refute your position? What evidence is there in policy that this is or is not a public purpose of education? Is this a recognized public purpose of education? What evidence is there that it is or is not? Are there essentially contested concepts subject to worldviews? How do you define them? Do any theoretical constructs support or refute your position? What evidence is there in policy that this is or is not a public purpose of education? Preparing students to be active, involved, socially just participants in our democracy.

13 Michellis Analysis Why active and involved? Why participants and not citizens? What does socially just mean? What does democracy mean? Why active and involved? Why participants and not citizens? What does socially just mean? What does democracy mean? Preparing students to be active, involved, socially just participants in our democracy.

14 What are some of the goals when we focus on preparing students for democracy? Emphasis on critical thinking and making judgments. Developing empathy and respect for alternative positions. Learning to argue well for our positions and how to compromise Learning to participate in community meetings Learning to give reasons for positions Creating classroom communities of inquiry Emphasis on critical thinking and making judgments. Developing empathy and respect for alternative positions. Learning to argue well for our positions and how to compromise Learning to participate in community meetings Learning to give reasons for positions Creating classroom communities of inquiry

15 What is the context in which we work? In 35 of 48 states, districts enrolling the highest proportions of minority students have substantially fewer state & local dollars per student than districts with the lowest percentages of minority students. Education Trust, 2004 In 35 of 48 states, districts enrolling the highest proportions of minority students have substantially fewer state & local dollars per student than districts with the lowest percentages of minority students. Education Trust, 2004

16 What is social justice?

17 Social justice has as its most essential quality the conditions of nonrepression and nondiscrimination. We must examine our society and our lives to assure that we do not discriminate or repress.

18 For example, in New York the funding gap between high- and low-poverty school districts amounts to $2,615 per student. This translates into a shortfall of $1 million for a high-poverty elementary school serving 400 children. Education Trust, 2004 For example, in New York the funding gap between high- and low-poverty school districts amounts to $2,615 per student. This translates into a shortfall of $1 million for a high-poverty elementary school serving 400 children. Education Trust, 2004

19 Demography is not destiny. The amount of melanin in a students skin, the home country of her antecedents, the amount of money in the family bank account, are not the inexorable determinants of academic success. --Judge Leland De Grasse January 10, 2001 Demography is not destiny. The amount of melanin in a students skin, the home country of her antecedents, the amount of money in the family bank account, are not the inexorable determinants of academic success. --Judge Leland De Grasse January 10, 2001

20 How about this? An issue of social justice?? Does it fit your definition? How about this? An issue of social justice?? Does it fit your definition?

21 Of Every 100 Whites starting Kindergarten: (25-to 29-Year-Olds) Source: US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. March Current Population Surveys, , in The Condition of Education 2002.

22 How about in New York City?? For every 100 whites starting kindergarten: 75 graduate from high school 77 females 71 males Gary Orfield, et. al., Losing our Future: How Minority Children are Being Left Behind by the Graduation Rate Crisis (Cambridge: The Civil Rights Project, 2004). For every 100 whites starting kindergarten: 75 graduate from high school 77 females 71 males Gary Orfield, et. al., Losing our Future: How Minority Children are Being Left Behind by the Graduation Rate Crisis (Cambridge: The Civil Rights Project, 2004).

23 Of Every 100 African Americans Starting Kindergarten: : (25-to 29-Year-Olds) Source: US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. March Current Population Survey, , In The Condition of Education 2002.

24 How about in New York City?? For every 100 African-Americans starting kindergarten 35 graduate from high school 39 females 29 males Gary Orfield, et. al., Losing our Future: How Minority Children are Being Left Behind by the Graduation Rate Crisis (Cambridge: The Civil Rights Project, 2004). For every 100 African-Americans starting kindergarten 35 graduate from high school 39 females 29 males Gary Orfield, et. al., Losing our Future: How Minority Children are Being Left Behind by the Graduation Rate Crisis (Cambridge: The Civil Rights Project, 2004).

25 Of Every 100 Latinos Starting Kindergarten : (25-to 29-Year-Olds) Source: US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. March Current Population Surveys, , In The condition of Education 2002.

26 How about in New York City?? For every 100 Latinos starting kindergarten 32 graduate from high school 35 females 29 males Gary Orfield, et. al., Losing our Future: How Minority Children are Being Left Behind by the Graduation Rate Crisis (Cambridge: The Civil Rights Project, 2004). For every 100 Latinos starting kindergarten 32 graduate from high school 35 females 29 males Gary Orfield, et. al., Losing our Future: How Minority Children are Being Left Behind by the Graduation Rate Crisis (Cambridge: The Civil Rights Project, 2004).

27 Note: Civil Rights Project data on school leavers is very different from New York City official data.

28 What is your reaction to the data? Can you explain the discrepancy in rates? What can/should we do as a society and as educators in the society?

29 Could they be be intentional? Could these outcomes be chance?? Can the outcomes be changed? Is it within our power to do so?

30 Jessica Ruglis, MA, MPH,Ph.D. Candidate: reTheorizing School Dropout: Foundations for Urban Education as a Social Determinant of Health 1) School pushout, 2) School leaver, 3) School refuser (or resistor), 4) School forceout, 5) School neglected, and 6) School denied 1) School pushout, 2) School leaver, 3) School refuser (or resistor), 4) School forceout, 5) School neglected, and 6) School denied

31 The Consequences of Leaving School A high school leaver has less than a 50% chance of getting a job That job will earn less than ½ of what the same job earned 20 years ago Wages are increasing only for those with at least a college education Lack of education is ever more strongly correlated with welfare dependency, incarceration, and poor health A high school leaver has less than a 50% chance of getting a job That job will earn less than ½ of what the same job earned 20 years ago Wages are increasing only for those with at least a college education Lack of education is ever more strongly correlated with welfare dependency, incarceration, and poor health

32 Lydia Gonzales

33 Examples from Teacher Education for Democracy and Social Justice Preparing Social Studies Teachers to be Just and Democratic Wheres the Joy: Justice and Caring in Science Education Aesthetic Education in Teaching for Freedom, Democracy and Social Justice The Right to be Equally Taught Preparing Social Studies Teachers to be Just and Democratic Wheres the Joy: Justice and Caring in Science Education Aesthetic Education in Teaching for Freedom, Democracy and Social Justice The Right to be Equally Taught

34 Here is where we stand now: We argue that democracy and social justice are not separable as conceptsyou cant have one without the other. In its essence, socially just democratic living is conjoint associated living characterized by the care for others, consideration of the views of others, argument that is based on reason, civic participation, and living a life defined by nonrepression and nondiscrimination of others. Michelli and Keiser We argue that democracy and social justice are not separable as conceptsyou cant have one without the other. In its essence, socially just democratic living is conjoint associated living characterized by the care for others, consideration of the views of others, argument that is based on reason, civic participation, and living a life defined by nonrepression and nondiscrimination of others. Michelli and Keiser

35 What DOES Father Coughlin have to do with this???

36 What are the public purposes of education? 3. Helping students imagine and achieve all the possibilities for their places in the society and to have full access to lifes chances.

37 Analysis Is this a recognized public purpose of education? What evidence is there that it is or is not? Are there essentially contested concepts subject to worldviews? How do you define them? Do any theoretical constructs support or refute your position? What evidence is there in policy that this is or is not a public purpose of education? Is this a recognized public purpose of education? What evidence is there that it is or is not? Are there essentially contested concepts subject to worldviews? How do you define them? Do any theoretical constructs support or refute your position? What evidence is there in policy that this is or is not a public purpose of education? Helping students imagine and achieve all the possibilities for their places in the society and to have full access to lifes chances.

38 Michellis Analysis Why imagine? Why achieve? Is all the possibilities possible? What does places in society mean? How does access to lifes chances fit? Can this be a definition for social justice? Why imagine? Why achieve? Is all the possibilities possible? What does places in society mean? How does access to lifes chances fit? Can this be a definition for social justice? Helping students imagine and achieve all the possibilities for their places in the society and to have full access to lifes chances.

39 We cannot become what we cannot imagine --Maxine Greene We cannot become what we cannot imagine --Maxine Greene

40 What are the public purposes of education? 4. Enabling students to lead rich and rewarding personal lives characterized by understanding the full range of human knowledge, including access to technology, the aesthetics, creativity, and personal health.

41 Analysis Is this a recognized public purpose of education? What evidence is there that it is or is not? Are there essentially contested concepts subject to worldviews? How do you define them? Do any theoretical constructs support or refute your position? What evidence is there in policy that this is or is not a public purpose of education? Is this a recognized public purpose of education? What evidence is there that it is or is not? Are there essentially contested concepts subject to worldviews? How do you define them? Do any theoretical constructs support or refute your position? What evidence is there in policy that this is or is not a public purpose of education? Enabling students to lead rich and rewarding personal lives characterized by access to understanding the full range of human knowledge, including technology, the aesthetics, creativity, and personal health.

42 Michellis Analysis Can leading rich and rewarding personal lives be measured? Why is it important to say full range of human knowledge? Is education responsible for personal health? Can leading rich and rewarding personal lives be measured? Why is it important to say full range of human knowledge? Is education responsible for personal health? Enabling students to lead rich and rewarding personal lives characterized by access to understanding the full range of human knowledge, including technology, the aesthetics, creativity, and personal health.

43 Where does this leave me? Where does it leave us???

44 The Importance of a Shared Vision A shared vision is not an idea. It is not even an important idea such as freedom. It is, rather, a force in peoples hearts, a force of impressive power. It might be inspired by an idea, but once it goes further--if it is compelling enough to acquire the support of more than one person--then it is no longer an abstraction. People begin to see it as if it exists. Few, if any, forces in human affairs are as powerful as a shared vision. At its simplest level, a shared vision is the answer to the question, What do we want to create? Just as personal visions are pictures or images people carry in their heads and hearts, so too are shared visions pictures that people throughout an organization carry. They create a sense of commonality that permeates the organization and gives coherence to diverse activities. --Peter Senge The Fifth Discipline A shared vision is not an idea. It is not even an important idea such as freedom. It is, rather, a force in peoples hearts, a force of impressive power. It might be inspired by an idea, but once it goes further--if it is compelling enough to acquire the support of more than one person--then it is no longer an abstraction. People begin to see it as if it exists. Few, if any, forces in human affairs are as powerful as a shared vision. At its simplest level, a shared vision is the answer to the question, What do we want to create? Just as personal visions are pictures or images people carry in their heads and hearts, so too are shared visions pictures that people throughout an organization carry. They create a sense of commonality that permeates the organization and gives coherence to diverse activities. --Peter Senge The Fifth Discipline

45 School climatethe overall sense of well being and the quality of relationships in schools as perceived by students, teachers, administrators and parentsaffects achievement, recruitment, and retention.

46 School climate can be measured, modified, and continuously improved. Doing so may be the most important factor in school improvement.

47 The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead The Cost of Liberty is less than the price of repression. W.E.B. DuBois The future will be better tomorrow. George W. Bush

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