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What good is technology if it doesn't help with education? Does it even educate?

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  • Joschka Fisher
    Re: NYTimes.com Article: A Miracle Revisited: Gains in Houston Schools: How Real Are They? Sub-title? What good is High-Tech if it doesn t improve education?
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 5, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      Re: NYTimes.com Article: A Miracle Revisited: Gains
      in Houston Schools: How Real Are They?

      Sub-title? What good is High-Tech if it doesn't
      improve education?

      --- joschka fischer a écrit : > This article from
      NYTimes.com
      > has been sent to you by grabarowic@... .
      >
      >
      > Ah...in all our discussions of singularities,
      S-Curves, nano-nonsense and faster cpus, leave us not
      forget the "FUTURE" of education.
      >
      > With all these high-tech gadgets,
      > and innovation ( or so they tell us )
      > why did America rush to judgement and
      > make the Texas Educational paradigm
      > national law, only to find out that
      > the Texas Educational system, much like
      > the former Texas Governer's new clothe's
      > were at best "Moth Mottled"?
      >
      > Comments on technology and if it has anything
      > "Positive" to do with education are welcomed.
      >
      > However I will throw in your faces, yet again - Mr.
      Clifford Stalls' Book: Silicon Snake Oil.

      link:
      http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~stoll/silicon_snake_oil.html
      >
      > joschka fischer
      >
      > bigwhiskey@...
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      >
      > A Miracle Revisited: Gains in Houston Schools: How
      > Real Are They?
      >
      > December 3, 2003
      > By DIANA JEAN SCHEMO and FORD FESSENDEN
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > HOUSTON — As a student at Jefferson Davis High
      > here,
      > Rosa Arevelo seemed the "Texas miracle" in motion.
      > After
      > years of classroom drills, she passed the high
      > school exam
      > required for graduation on her first try. A program
      > of
      > college prep courses earned her the designation
      > "Texas
      > scholar."
      >
      > At the University of Houston, though, Ms. Arevelo
      > discovered the distance between what Texas public
      > schools
      > called success and what she needed to know. Trained
      > to
      > write five-paragraph "persuasive essays" for the
      > state
      > exam, she was stumped by her first writing
      > assignment. She
      > failed the college entrance exam in math twice, even
      > with a
      > year of remedial algebra. At 19, she gave up and
      > went to
      > trade school.
      >
      > "I had good grades in high school, so I thought I
      > could do
      > well in college," Ms. Arevelo said. "I thought I was
      > getting a good education. I was shocked."
      >
      > In recent years, Texas has trumpeted the academic
      > gains of
      > Ms. Arevelo and millions more students largely on
      > the basis
      > of a state test, the Texas Assessment of Academic
      > Skills,
      > or TAAS. As a presidential candidate, Texas's former
      > governor, George W. Bush, contended that Texas's
      > methods of
      > holding schools responsible for student performance
      > had
      > brought huge improvements in passing rates and
      > remarkable
      > strides in eliminating the gap between white and
      > minority
      > children.
      >
      > The claims catapulted Houston's superintendent, Rod
      > Paige,
      > to Washington as education secretary and made Texas
      > a model
      > for the country. The education law signed by
      > President Bush
      > in January 2002, No Child Left Behind, gives public
      > schools
      > 12 years to match Houston's success and bring
      > virtually all
      > children to academic proficiency.
      >
      > But an examination of the performance of students in
      > Houston by The New York Times raises serious doubts
      > about
      > the magnitude of those gains. Scores on a national
      > exam
      > that Houston students took alongside the Texas exam
      > from
      > 1999 to 2002 showed much smaller gains and falling
      > scores
      > in high school reading.
      >
      > Compared with the rest of the country, Houston's
      > gains on
      > the national exam, the Stanford Achievement Test,
      > were
      > modest. The improvements in middle and elementary
      > school
      > were a fraction of those depicted by the Texas test
      > and
      > were similar to those posted on the Stanford test by
      > students in Los Angeles.
      >
      > Over all, a comparison of the performance of Houston
      > students who took the Stanford exam in 2002 and in
      > 1999
      > showed most did not advance in relation to their
      > counterparts across the nation. More than half of
      > them
      > either remained in the same place or lost ground in
      > reading
      > and math.
      >
      > "Is it better or worse than what's going on anywhere
      > else?"
      > said Edward H. Haertel, a professor of education at
      > Stanford University. "On average it looks like it's
      > not."
      > Stanford University has no relationship to the test.
      >
      >
      > In an interview, Dr. Paige defended Texas's system,
      > saying
      > that it had gradually raised the standards for
      > success over
      > the last 20 years. "Texas measures far more than
      > minimal
      > skills," he said. "The bar is far above what other
      > districts use."
      >
      > But questions about Houston's accomplishments are
      > increasing. In June, the Texas Education Agency
      > found
      > rampant undercounting of school dropouts. Houston
      > school
      > officials have also been accused of overstating how
      > many
      > high school graduates were college bound and of
      > failing to
      > report violent crimes in schools to state
      > authorities.
      >
      > The Houston officials strenuously defend the
      > district's
      > record.
      >
      > Kathryn Sanchez, head of assessment for Houston's
      > schools,
      > said students were doing well on both the Texas exam
      > and
      > the Stanford test, given the city's large number of
      > poor
      > and minority students. Ms. Sanchez said that Houston
      > students had also done well on the National
      > Assessment of
      > Educational Progress, a federally mandated test
      > widely
      > referred to as "the nation's report card."
      >
      > On that test, fourth graders in Houston and New York
      > outdid
      > children in four other cities in writing, to score
      > at the
      > national average. Fourth graders in New York and
      > Houston
      > also led children in other cities in reading, yet
      > fell
      >
      === message truncated ===

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