Axioms I Use To Parse School Reforms

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

For thirteen years, I have written this blog. Believing that many, if not most, educational policies made in school board meetings, superintendent suites, and principals’ offices have consequences for what happens daily in schools and classrooms, I have analyzed district policies, especially those aimed at changing what and how teachers teach. For example, district policies (e.g.,requiring students to gain financial literacy in high school economics courses, understand that race and ethnicity have been central to the American experience in U.S. history classes) are examples of value-driven policies that school boards adopt to get teachers to teach new content and skills.

After all of this writing on school reform, what tenets, what guidelines do I follow in sorting through a river of reforms that enter American schools? In short, how do I make sense of the constant flow of policy-driven reforms that come from federal, state, and local authorities? What criteria…

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