Secretary Duncan came
down on teachers colleges yesterday. This isn’t a new
concern. Yet I don’t think I have EVER read a piece in the media
about what exactly people learn, and don’t learn, at schools of
education. Can we fix that?
Okay, so I admit I’m always a little taken aback when I am
visiting a school and see Latina kindergartners wearing frilly
dresses and high heels. I’ve heard more than one teacher snicker
at this; it makes it hard to sit criss-cross applesauce and
participate in P.E. But after EWA’s meeting on
Latino youth issues with the Pew Hispanic Center earlier this
month, I get it.
Hours after starting my blog, I heard from Jerry Bracey.
If you are an education reporter at any sizable media outlet and
never heard from Jerry Bracey, I am surprised. He dedicated
himself to correcting, not always politely, what he saw as
misinformation in education research and journalism. As a
frequent recipient of his long analyses, let me tell you, he
found misinformation everywhere.
his education speech to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in
March, President Obama said, “From the moment students enter a
school, the most important factor in their success is not the
color of their skin or the income of their parents. It’s the
person standing at the front of the classroom.”
When my brother Rick and I were in third grade, we had a teacher
named Mrs. Frankiewicz. Mrs. Frankiewicz used to say that she
never made mistakes—just once in a blue moon. One day, when she
wrote something incorrectly on the board, my brother pronounced,
“The blue moon has come!” (Genius then, genius now.) So “the blue
moon has come” is the Perlsteinian term for hell freezing over.