Champions of public education, teachers and students lost an important ally recently when Gerald Bracey passed away unexpectedly. I wrote about the loss of Dr. Bracey here. Alfie Kohn, Deborah Meier, USA Today and others did so as well.
Bracey had a highly-tuned BS detector as Neil Postman called for four decades ago, but he used the tools of a scientist, wisdom of a scholar and heart of a teacher to make his arguments irrefutable.
One of Gerald Bracey’s most important contributions to education was the Annual Bracey Report on the Condition of Public Education. The final report has just been published after having been finished posthumously by his friend, Susan Ohanian. If you do not know Susan’s work, you should read her web site daily!
This report is brought to us by the Education and Public Interest Center of the University of Colorado at Boulder & the Education Policy Research Unit of Arizona State University.
The current (and perhaps final) Bracey report tackles the “the research support for what the author considers to be three of the most important assumptions about how to reform public education:” (http://epicpolicy.org/publication/Bracey-Report)
- High-quality schools can eliminate the achievement gap between whites and minorities.
- Mayoral control of public schools is an improvement over the more common elected board governance systems.
- Higher standards will improve the performance of public schools.
I was pleased to read that Bracey identified the “do as I say, not as I do,” contradictions in Obama’s education policies as I wrote last year in Obama Practices Social Promotion (which incurred the global wrath of the CEO of Hooked-on-Phonics) and in Why I’m Scared to Death About Obama’s Education Policies.
Download the report, Read it! Circulate it to friends, neighbors, administrators, school board members and public officials!
Veteran educator Gary Stager, Ph.D. is co-author of Invent To Learn — Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, publisher at Constructing Modern Knowledge Press, and the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute. He led professional development in the world’s first 1:1 laptop schools thirty years ago and designed one of the oldest online graduate school programs. Gary is also the curator of The Seymour Papert archives at DailyPapert.com. Learn more about Gary here.