Friday, November 04, 2005

A Bush-Style Education School in Texas --

<>By MICHAEL JANOFSKY. From the New York Times, Published: November 3, 200

DALLAS, Nov. 2 - Seven years ago, a group of public school superintendents from the Dallas area, concerned over a growing achievement gap in reading between white and minority students, asked Southern Methodist University to create a graduate program to help narrow the difference.

From that request, a new school of education was born, and the forces behind it say there may be nothing quite like it elsewhere in the country.

The S.M.U. School of Education and Human Development, which opened this fall with 1,100 students, teaches programs that are aligned with President Bush's hallmark education program, No Child Left Behind, and that the school says are based on the kind of research protocols used in science and medicine...

<>... S.M.U.'s new venture concentrates on reading - preparing young children to read and helping children who are struggling to learn English.

Dr. Turner called it a "niche offering" among schools of education, created, he said, "because there's a need to help teachers around here, and the problems are pervasive enough that we can make a difference with it."

While statewide test scores last year for third-grade reading show that schools in the Dallas area are outperforming those in other regions of the country, serious gaps remain. About 20 percent of all black and Hispanic children, compared with 5 percent of white students, failed to meet the standards.

To identify teaching techniques that might lift the stragglers, S.M.U. is using federal and private grant money to conduct research in local public school systems that mirrors the kind of experiments conducted in other fields. The research uses control groups and takes into account a wide range of variables to determine which instructional methods work better than others.

The research results are then systematically applied to course work...

This is a story I plan to research and follow. It brings to mind a lot of questions, and I hope to have some answers soon. It is interesting and food for thought...

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