Why Not Evidence-Based Educational Policy?
I’ve just discovered another writer who has impressed me with the first essay I’ve read. Arthur Camins is the Director of the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. He blogs on Huffington Post and has his own webstite at www.arthurcamins.com. The essay that really rang true for me is Escape From Poverty for a Few More Students Is Not a Worthy National Goal. Aside from being wonderfully well-written with outstandingly summarized critiques of educational policy, his points align almost perfectly with my own thoughts on the same subjects.
Educational Policy Is Not Evidence-Based
Camins notes that educational policy today seems to believe that if we can increased the performance of poor children on tests, they will be more successful and get out of poverty. Then, the main point of his essay is presented: “This argument, while simplistic, sounds reasonable and appealing. However, close examination reveals that it is not evidence-based, nor is it logical.”
Among the many excellent points he makes: “Great teaching matters, but there is no evidence that on a systemic level improved instruction can break the causal link between poverty and students’ ability to engage in and sustain learning. There is no evidence that competition among teachers for merit pay will offset the resource advantages of schools in wealthy districts. There is no evidence that competition among schools for students improves overall school effectiveness. As long as there is poverty, it will cause family instability. As long as there is poverty, it will be detrimental to the developmental, social and psychological health of children and, as a result, constrain their learning.”
See www.arthurcamins.com For More Outstanding Comments on Ed Reform
There’s lot more like this to read on Dr. Camins’ blog here. I’ll be adding his site to my list of blogs to follow and I look forward to reading more from his site in the coming weeks. You can follow him from the Huff Post blog and get notifications as new entries appear. I recommend him.