Suggested Discussion Outline - The Teacher Wars: A History of America's Most Embattled Profession - Nov 18


Our author, Dana Goldstein, made an amazing admission buried on p. 208 of The Teacher Wars that teacher quality accounts for only approximately 7% of the achievement and employment gaps in America, with the remaining 93% driven by out-of-school factors according to “the most celebrated value-added study ever conducted.”

Published in the American Economic Review in 2014, the study by Professors Chetty, Friedman and Rockoff examined 20 years of data for more than one million children and their teachers from third grade to adulthood.

This did NOT surprise the participants at our Nov 18 meeting.

Tucker Gurney (retired U/Utah Biology Prof) recounted the year she spent working for the Red Cross on Chicago’s notorious South Side after graduating from the U/Chicago in 1962 before starting her PhD.

The conditions she described were similar to those that John Karls often reminds us were typical of the 178 “I Have A Dream”® Progams in 51 American inner-cities in the 1990’s that provided individual tutors and mentors for an entire inner-city school class (or housing-project class cohort) as it progressed from third grade through high school graduation with a guarantee of college tuition:

(1) 99% of “Dreamers” living in single-adult households;
(2) 95% of total Dreamers living in single-adult households headed by a druggie; and
(3) 75%-80% of total Dreamers living in a single-adult household headed by a druggie who hands all receipts over to the pusher so the children have to steal just in order to eat.

It was not surprising that inner-city children knew by the age of 5 that they were NOT eligible for their dreams. And that their only realistic career objectives were pusher or pimp, or girl friend of a pusher or pimp graduating to whore.

What was surprising is that the IHAD Programs were able to achieve 90% of their Dreamers graduating from high school and going to college -- DESPITE THE FACT that the classes just ahead and just behind the Dreamer class typically had SINGLE-DIGIT high-school graduation rates.

Although The Teacher Wars provided a wealth of information about the Teat On The Whale (teacher effectiveness), it reminded us of how the IHAD Program had showed America The Promised Land by treating inner-city education as a SOCIOLOGY problem rather than an EDUCATION problem.

And how Bill and Melinda Gates and their foundation had caused America to turn away from The Promised Land and, for a decade, to worship the False Idol of breaking up inner-city schools into smaller units.

And after admitting the failure of that approach, causing America to Wander In The Wilderness for another decade worshipping the False Idol of School Choice which was evaluated in a national study in 2009 conducted by Stanford University and FINANCED BY THE PRO-CHARTER WALTON FAMILY FOUNDATION AND THE MICHAEL AND SUSAN DELL FOUNDATION of 2,403 charter schools (about half of all charter schools and 70% of all charter-school students) -- which found that 37% of the charter schools had learning gains that were SIGNIFICANTLY BELOW those of local public schools, 46% had gains that were no different, and ONLY 17 PER CENT had growth that was significantly better (this despite “cherry picking” the best applicants and expelling poor-performing students!!!).

It is also a shame that during 2008-2011, the top 21 National and California politicians and 43 news-media superstars refused to permit $84 billion of private funding to be used to provide IHAD or IHAD-style programs for 10 million inner-city children (details are available in the third & fourth sections of this Bulletin Board).

But after our unsuccessful attempt to enlist the help of Pope Francis (please see our 6/17/2015 e-mail campaign described in the first section of this Bulletin Board), we did NOT have any other ideas at our Nov 18 meeting for what could be done.
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