Monday, February 23, 2009

Cognitive Dissonance

Jay Mathews:

The KIPP formula includes energetic teaching, more learning time, music, travel and fun. But the most important reason why KIPP has succeeded, with 66 schools in 19 states and the District, is creative leadership. Each principal is carefully selected and trained and then told to go run his or her school any way that makes sense, as long as achievement rises significantly.

Linda Darling-Hammond:

(Joe Williams and I) note that many of the Core Knowledge schools of E.D. Hirsch, whom Madigan cites in her attempt to polarize, develop solid knowledge and rigorous thinking skills through a project-based curriculum, defying the silly idea that we can't develop both knowledge and skills in our schools.

We'd be making progress if people who like KIPP and Core Knowledge would also advocate for, or at least stop criticizing, defunding and closing, public schools full of energetic teaching, music, travel, and fun, that implement site and community-based management, and project-based curricula that develops both knowledge and skills.

Right now, you'd almost get the idea that people are mostly just using KIPP and CK as rhetorical clubs against unions, taxes and government spending, and that all the talk about pedagogy is just for show.

Either that, or they imagine that KIPP and CK schools are a lot more Dickensian then they actually are, that the actual schools are less Dickensian than their distant fans would like them to be.

1 comment:

Robert Pondiscio said...


Core Knowledge schools come in all flavors -- public, private, religious and charter. Of these, the majority (53% if memory serves)are public schools.

Robert Pondiscio