Miss Eyre in a post at NYC Educator called, The First Joel Klein Generation asks, "Why doesn't there seem to be a difference?"
It will always be true that students who come from even slightly more privileged families and/or are taught by the creatively subversive teachers will have something of an edge. But the students we're talking about today are coming from schools that were most directly targeted by the Klein/Bloomberg "reforms," and were targeted the entire time these children were in school.Yes, kiddies, kids who entered kindergarten under the BloomKlein regime are now in the 9th grade and my prediction 7 years ago that the school systems of Kabul and Baghdad will recover sooner than the ones here. Since I have been out of the system for so long and never has to teacher under Klein dictates, I was intrigued by some of the pedagogical comments that seem to apply in so many places.
By the way, there are attacks on the Teachers College as being responsible. I have supported many of the progressive ideas coming out TC but the way it was implemented without taking into account class size and other factors. I was once mentoring a 2nd grade 2nd year Teaching Fellow in Park Slope who was doing the Workshop model for writing - and doing quite a nice job of it. She had 22 kids and all but one seemed capable of working independently. But that one child kept interfering with her individual meetings with the other students. I suggested she give him a workbook to keep him busy so she could deal with the other kids. "Oh, we're not allowed," she said - Carmen Farina was the Dist. 15/Region 8 Supt at the time. So better to allow a more unproductive setting than violate a cardinal rule of TC, thus not taking account of reality.
Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/