ISA HOPKINS

Raconteur. Adventurer. Kimchi Enthusiast.

The Data Agenda

When it comes to education reform, the reliance on “data” is purported to be a values-neutral statement: data has no ideology, this line of thinking goes, so its use cannot be manipulated.   Two important articles – one very long, the other less so – illuminate the lie at work in this proposition.  First, the Atlantic looks at Philadelphia’s textbook allocations.  Textbooks – logistics – are an easy and appropriate place to use.. Read More

Getting Schooled, Part II

As promised… a weekend follow-up to my Friday post about education reform.  The real centerpiece of reform efforts is the notion of “data-driven education,” i.e., that teachers can be objectively measured according to certain benchmarks.  While perhaps a reasonable principle, what this has meant in practice is an increased reliance on standardized testing.  Standardized testing in education is an abominable failure as a scientific method of data collection: different populations are measured against.. Read More

Getting Schooled

I have been meaning, since the start of this blog, to craft a lengthy essay about school reform efforts, and the conflation of “hype” with “evidence”.  I’ll go into more detail in a post this weekend, but fortunately, the evangelical zealotry of educational reform — reaching its zenith in the forthcoming documentary “Waiting For Superman” — is starting to get a critical appraisal from some quarters. Reform is, of course, needed.  But the.. Read More