CNN special on “fixing” education in the U.S.


I get press releases in e-mail:

FIXING EDUCATION is Focus of New “Restoring the American Dream” FAREED ZAKARIA GPS Primetime Special

Restoring the American Dream – FIXING EDUCATION Debuts Sunday at 8:00pm ET and PT

TIME Magazine Companion Story “When Will We Learn?” Hits Newsstands Friday

American primary and secondary education were once envied by much of the world, but over the last few decades U.S. students have fallen behind – while students in other countries have benefitted from improvements to their educational systems.  CNN and TIME magazine’s Fareed Zakaria interviews innovative and creative leaders working on solutions to fix what ails American education in his November primetime special, Restoring the American Dream – FIXING EDUCATION, on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 8:00pm & 11:00pm ET & PT, and for a companion TIME magazine cover article, “When Will We Learn?” that hits newsstands Friday.

Time Magazine cover for November 4, 2011

Time Magazine cover for November 4, 2011, featuring Fareed Zakaria's story on education reform

PISA, the Program for International Student Assessment, ranks 15-year-olds for basic skills achievement in 65 industrialized nations.  In the latest PISA rankings, the U.S. ranks 15th in reading, 23rd in math, and 31st in science.  Zakaria guides viewers through tours of what is working in education in countries with high rankings – to South Korea where students have more classroom time; and Finland , where professionalization of the teacher workforce has improved educators – in order to mine ideas for what could put U.S. education back on the right track.

Featured in the special are:

  • ·Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, whose foundation has donated $5 billion dollars to schools, libraries, and scholarships tells Zakaria that the single most important determinant in the quality of a student’s education is the teacher.  The Gates Foundation is the leading source of private money for education in the U.S. .
  • ·Salman Khan,< founder of the Khan Academy , an educational organization that provides free, self-paced tutorials and student assessments online.  Khan’s famous podcasts have delivered more than 83 million free lessons in math, science and other topics, and he tells Zakaria that customizing education can improve learning through leveraging how students learn differently.  He thinks it would not be that difficult to teach all American students this way.
    • NYU Professor, former Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education, and author (The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, 2010) Diane Ravitch has spent a lifetime in education policy analysis and has seen education reforms come and go – and harm students.  Ravitch supports a rigorous national curriculum and tells Zakaria that standardized testing, charter schools, and modeling public education after business models have politicized American education and degraded schools for a generation.
    • ·Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of D.C. Public Schools, in Washington, now leads StudentsFirst, a nonprofit aimed at education reform through, among other measures, ending teacher tenure and supporting charter school alternatives to traditional public schools.

A FAREED ZAKARIA GPS Special:Restoring the American Dream – FIXING EDUCATION – debuts Sunday, Nov. 6 at 8:00p.m. and 11:00p.m. ET/PT on CNN/U.S.  It will replay on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 8:00p.m. and 11:00p.m. ET/PT on CNN/U.S.  Preview available here: Fareed Zakaria and Brooke Baldwin discuss what makes a great teacher.

Fareed Zakaria’s TIME magazine cover story, When Will We Learn? hits newsstands Friday, Nov. 4.

So the Time story is already out (home delivery has already occurred in many cases).

If you’re interested in this special, you may want to record it yourself — CNN tells me no DVD will be available.

I have AT&T cable, so we don’t get CNN, which is reserved for the high-cost, not-teachers-salary package.  Somebody tell me how it goes.

Zakaria thinks solidly and well on a number of topics, especially where comparison with foreign nations is made.  Ravitch was struck with an epiphany on testing and the No Child Left Behind Act over a year ago, as described in the press release.  She came to see that testing sucks rigor out of classrooms, instead of instilling rigor as we discussed 30 years ago in the education reform movement.

What in the world can Michelle Rhee add to this discussion?  From the press release it looks a lot like the “balance” fallacy makes the show suffer:  Journalists think they need a contrasting view, so when Euclid tells a writer that 2+2=4, the journalist seeks out others who have different opinions, and prints those opinions no matter how stupid, insipid, or dangerous they may be.

Let us keep hope alive.

See also at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub:

33 Responses to CNN special on “fixing” education in the U.S.

  1. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    As you are insane, sanity to you appears warped.

    As I posted before, you have contradicted principles – and you flip/flop between whichever one, at the time, appears to benefit you.

    The problem with such a behavior, the consequences of such behavior are delivered at sometime in the future, and the negative ones begin to accumulate.

    At some point, they will overwhelm you – no matter which whimsical flip/flop you chose that day.

    This on the level of a nation also occurs – and that day of reckoning comes for this nation as certain as it comes for you as a person.

    Like

  2. Ed Darrell says:

    I’d like for you to get some sense, write sense when you write, and stick with reality.

    Like

  3. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    I know you love sitting in your bubbles of illusions as they make you happy – I wouldn’t want to disturb you with hot water reality at all.

    If you want me to leave, just say so.

    Like

  4. Ed Darrell says:

    Say, how about, when something is posted that is going to bring on the resident trolls and fanatics, not to mention the visiting bit-players, so that total threadjadking is a certainty — how about, I say, generating an alternate thread on which dicsussion can take place without being shouted down?

    This version of WordPress doesn’t lend itself easily to moving posts from one thread to another. If the current troll quotient continues, I’ll have to do something. One yearns for the old AOL board that allowed you to simply click “ignore,” and the posts from the trolls would not show up.

    Like

  5. Ellie says:

    Hi, Porlock Junior.

    Or, we could just ignore the silly trolls? I know it was easier once upon a time with Usenet killfiles, but it really isn’t all that difficult.

    Like

  6. Black Flag® says:

    Porlock

    The situation will tend to bubble down to the roots of principle … what principle is in play that generates the desire to do this or that.

    Often the principle that is claimed is in contradiction to the actions undertaken… much like Christians voting for war.

    It annoys “government supporters” to be shown their contradiction, like it annoys Christians to be shown theirs….

    Like

  7. Say, how about, when something is posted that is going to bring on the resident trolls and fanatics, not to mention the visiting bit-players, so that total threadjadking is a certainty — how about, I say, generating an alternate thread on which dicsussion can take place without being shouted down?

    This posting, for instance, could use some unfanatical discussion of several real issues.

    It couldn’t be done without raising red flags, or whatever color, when junk is referred to the junk thread, thereby Censoring Free Speech and Violating the First Commandment, I mean Amendment. But who cares, since actually it doubles access to expression concerning the posting? (Sort like the way every discovery of a transitional form, by filling a gap in the fossil record, leaves *two* gaps in its place.)

    Like

  8. Black Flag® says:

    James

    I love your ability to point to North Korea as an example of an extreme of too much government but you fail to realize that your extreme…no government is equally as stupid/deranged/insane.

    Remember, you are the one who started it with your bizarre “Somalia” qip.

    However, what is your proof regarding your statement?

    Why do you believe free men are dangerous and insane?

    I also love your ability to pretend that South Korea is an example that proves you right instead of an example that proves us right…that yes a certain amount of government is necessary. Meaning, little one, the answer is in the balance.

    No amount of government is “necessary”….

    Please provide a coherent definition of “government” – I believe you are starting from an irrational premise, and thus with no surprise, you end up with irrational ideas.

    It would result in economic piracy

    What is “Economic piracy”?

    and anarchy

    by definition, you are right.

    “An” – no
    “archy” – right to rule

    I would like to hear your reasoning to why you believe men have a right to rule over other men.

    and would more then likely end in people being killed to such a degree that it would make what Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Saddam Hussein, the jackoffs that ran the “ethnic cleansing” in the balkans and Pol Pot did combined look like a three car pileup on the freeway by comparison.

    Yet, the fact is government is the greatest killer of the 20th century

    Yet, the fact is individuals in crime are insignificantly minor compared to government.

    A few mob hits have taken out -what- a dozen; and these are rare.

    A single government bomb wiped out 300,000 in a second.

    You are afraid of individuals doing you harm, but are in love with the massive, centralized, organized violence of government that has the power to end humanity.

    In fact it can be pretty safely argued

    What fact?
    You have none.

    What argument?
    You have provided none.

    I await your argument … I think I will wait for a long time, though.

    The Founding Fathers were scared to death of sociopathic anti-government/anti-tax morons like you.

    No, they were not.

    Most of them were terrified of centralized government – which is why they worked to decentralize its power to the extent they did.

    I am not sure where you got your education, but if you paid for it, you should demand your money back.

    Oh and by the way…just so you know when you were watching the Mad Max films..they were not something to aspire to.

    The extent of your “fact” – appealing to a fantasy movie.

    Like

  9. Black writes:
    I pointed out the difference of less government – it was not in support of the government action there, but that it was less intrusive – and thus, the people more prosperous and free.

    I love your ability to point to North Korea as an example of an extreme of too much government but you fail to realize that your extreme…no government is equally as stupid/deranged/insane.
    I also love your ability to pretend that South Korea is an example that proves you right instead of an example that proves us right…that yes a certain amount of government is necessary. Meaning, little one, the answer is in the balance.

    Your preferred “system,” and I use that term loosely, of no government would not result in more freedom and prosperity for the people of the United States. It would result in economic piracy and anarchy and would more then likely end in people being killed to such a degree that it would make what Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Saddam Hussein, the jackoffs that ran the “ethnic cleansing” in the balkans and Pol Pot did combined look like a three car pileup on the freeway by comparison. In fact it can be pretty safely argued that your “system” would result in the destruction of the planet because we for damn sure have enough nuclear missiles to accomplish that multiple times over and without no government there is no safeguards from some meglomaniacial sociopath deciding to pop some off.

    Somalia is a perfect example of what your “system” would result in. And last time I checked the people of Somalia are not “more free” nor are they “more prosperous.”

    The Founding Fathers were scared to death of sociopathic anti-government/anti-tax morons like you. In fact I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if on the day you die you show up at heavens gate and George Washington and the other founding fathers start kicking your a– for wishing to destroy what they created.

    Oh and by the way…just so you know when you were watching the Mad Max films..they were not something to aspire to.

    Like

  10. Black Flag® says:

    Ed

    Between South Korea and North Korea? For most citizens of those respective nations, the North Korean government is much less intrusive.

    *blink*

    You have succeeded into the #1 position of the most bizarre blog I post on.

    You claim I offer no standard, but it’s clear you can’t tell the difference between good and bad — so what good would a standard do you?

    But you cannot tell “good” from “bad” since you have no root principle from which to judge such other then your own ego-centric view.

    That is, for you, “good” is whatever benefits Ed and “bad” is whatever appears to injure Ed. You have no concept or understanding of any principle beyond that.

    Like

  11. Ed Darrell says:

    I pointed out the difference of less government – it was not in support of the government action there, but that it was less intrusive – and thus, the people more prosperous and free.

    Instructions that come with the poster Black Flag: “Blather, don’t bother to rinse, repeat.”

    Between South Korea and North Korea? For most citizens of those respective nations, the North Korean government is much less intrusive. Oddly, those in the “intrusive government” South are generally more prosperous (almost to a man or woman), and much more “free” by their own claims.

    You claim I offer no standard, but it’s clear you can’t tell the difference between good and bad — so what good would a standard do you?

    Like

  12. Jim says:

    Good morning, Ed!

    This exchange is most enlightening…

    ED: Urging a lack of government, Black Flag suggested North Korea as the model for people who think government is a good idea. I noted that North Korea’s government is so dysfunctional that one could argue the nation lacks government, except in a feudal construction.

    Without a hint of irony, Black Flag responded:

    One merely need to go a few hundred miles south to see the difference just a little bit of freedom does to the same people

    ED AGAIN: Freedom that comes at a cost of having a working government, with severe regulations and high taxes.

    My note: Well done, bud. South Korea is a Capitalist Republic with — arguably — far more socialist impulses than exist here in the United States. It is precisely the sort of oppressive, taxation by theft government Anarchists, Libertarians and sadly many Republicans are fulminating about these days.

    I doubt, though, that they would embrace South Korea if that happened to be their lot in life. More likely, they envision something like this…

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/silicon-valley-billionaire-funding-creation-artificial-libertarian-islands-140840896.html

    And this has “success” written all over it, don’t you think?

    Jim

    Like

  13. Black Flag® says:

    And as usual, Ed fails to provide any basis of measurement of good or bad government – because he cannot coherently provide one without contradicting himself.

    It’s ok, Ed, some sharper minds then yours couldn’t either….

    Like

  14. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    Urging a lack of government, Black Flag suggested North Korea as the model for people who think government is a good idea. I noted that North Korea’s government is so dysfunctional that one could argue the nation lacks government, except in a feudal construction.

    All government is dysfunctional, Ed –

    Freedom that comes at a cost of having a working government, with severe regulations and high taxes.

    Yes, you are the master of Cherry picking comments – I can see why you love the AGW myth … it suits your temperament.

    I pointed out the difference of less government – it was not in support of the government action there, but that it was less intrusive – and thus, the people more prosperous and free.

    Government throughout the world is a reverse beauty contest … that is, who is the least worst of them all.

    By no measure, is this a sign of beauty.

    Like

  15. Black Flag® says:

    Ediacaran

    Perhaps you can pre-emptively write a defense of your pet beliefs currently unsupported by reason, science and facts, and submit it to a peer-reviewed science journal in an attempt to persuade the scientific community that your pet beliefs actually have merit.

    All of that has been done already – this is “out there” for you – but you refuse to read it as it disturbs you

    Science is like that – what one man can show, another man can do and see for himself…..

    Go for it, friend! You might learn something….

    Shouldn’t people be freed from demonstrably false beliefs? Make a case here for some of your slighted beliefs, and see how it works.

    People have a right to believe as they wish, no matter how irrational.

    You do not have a right to force your belief upon them nor attack them based on your bizarre belief.

    In a world where believes conflict, the best and only moral tool left to resolve such conflict is reason

    Try that …. not all men are immune to it, though many are.

    Like

  16. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    I suspect Black Flag is creationist, too.

    You don’t believe things are created and believe in magic?

    I am a “show me, don’t tell me” guy – you should have figured that by now.

    Like

  17. Ed Darrell says:

    I suspect Black Flag is creationist, too. There seems to be no irrational woo he is not subject to, or victimized by.

    Like

  18. Oh I just love how Black Flag is so much of an egomaniacial sociopath that he thinks he knows better then the Founding Fathers.

    To Alan and Morgan in case you haven’t figured it out: Black Flag’s entire purpose is to make you and your fellow conservatives/right wingers look as absolutely batshit crazy and stupid as possible.

    Don’t think he’s an ally of yours, he’s not.

    As for you, Black, again..if you hate the government of the United States so much then leave the country.

    But oh wait…you won’t. Because you’re too much of a chickens— little pinhead to actually live by your so called principles. By remaining you get to sit there and say whatever stupid s— you want without actually having to pay the price to live by what you say and you still have all the protections of the government that you so love to claim you want destroyed.

    As I said you’re nothing but an egomaniacial sociopath who is all bark and no bite.

    Like

  19. Ediacaran says:

    Black Flag, did those suggested classes gore some of your pet oxen? Perhaps you can pre-emptively write a defense of your pet beliefs currently unsupported by reason, science and facts, and submit it to a peer-reviewed science journal in an attempt to persuade the scientific community that your pet beliefs actually have merit. All of the proposed topics for the class would entail refuting demonstrably false claims, by using facts, reason and science to debunk them. The classes would not be for imposing orthodoxy, as you imply, but debunking testable but unfounded beliefs. Shouldn’t people be freed from demonstrably false beliefs? Make a case here for some of your slighted beliefs, and see how it works.

    Like

  20. Ed Darrell says:

    Urging a lack of government, Black Flag suggested North Korea as the model for people who think government is a good idea. I noted that North Korea’s government is so dysfunctional that one could argue the nation lacks government, except in a feudal construction.

    Without a hint of irony, Black Flag responded:

    One merely need to go a few hundred miles south to see the difference just a little bit of freedom does to the same people

    Freedom that comes at a cost of having a working government, with severe regulations and high taxes.

    I see your point, Black Flag — once again you demonstrate that you don’t know manure, nor can you tell a burro from a burrow.

    Like

  21. […] Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub: there is an electronic ad for the CNN special on “fixing education” in the United […]

    Like

  22. Black Flag® says:

    Ediacarn,

    Since “critical thinking” seems to be a popular buzzphrase among creationists, let’s make critical thinking classes mandatory

    So, how about you apply some “critical” thinking to forcing kids to accept your beliefs by force…..

    …so much for education by example…. or you are exampling it?

    That which you disagree must be forced into compliance – regardless of reason, science, belief or fact!

    Yep, you are the epitome of what is wrong with public schooling – that is, there exist but one point of view, and nothing contrary must no exist.

    Like

  23. Ediacaran says:

    Let’s stop electing creationists, that would go a long way toward fixing many of the ills of education. Since “critical thinking” seems to be a popular buzzphrase among creationists, let’s make critical thinking classes mandatory every third year of school – but with a curriculum determined by the National Academy of Science. The classes could debunk: urban myths, revisionist history and bogus quotes (such as those spread by faux historian David Barton, a darling of the creationists on the TX SBoE), creationist anti-science canards, global warming deniers, anti-vaccination canards, Holocaust deniers, etc. Maybe you can start with this suspect quote attributed to Einstein, said to be from The World As I See It, but nowhere to be found in my copy: “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”

    Like

  24. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    If one cannot distinguish between good government and bad government, </blockquote.

    Ed, please provide the measure you use to determine between “good” and “bad” government?

    Just a warning, in the end, you will merely demonstrate the difference is the extent a government intrudes within society.

    That which intrudes more will be worse than that which intrudes less….

    This is the same realization of Thoreau – who stated
    “Best government is least government -best of all, none”

    So, you will merely show that your demand FOR government, creates BAD government – and that all free men must tirelessly work to end government – indeed, it is the duty of free men to do so.

    Like

  25. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    One can make a case that there is no government in North Korea, only a feudal fiefdom. In a way it’s the ultimate libertarian society — no governmental paying for anything. The peasants starve.

    One merely need to go a few hundred miles south to see the difference just a little bit of freedom does to the same people

    Korea is a good example -same people, geography, culture – the difference – Total government vs. less than total government … and it is BLACK AND WHITE.

    Somalia is similar – when there was government, it was far worse than it is now

    At praxalogically, it makes sense:

    The entity that takes from PRODUCTIVE people to give to UNPRODUCTIVE people destroys wealth

    This is not a judgement on the reasons you do thisbut don’t spew garbage believing this action makes wealth

    Be honest and admit you are choosing poverty for equality – which is N. Korea.

    Like

  26. Ed Darrell says:

    You love government so much, why don’t you move to N. Korea – that is all that is there!

    One can make a case that there is no government in North Korea, only a feudal fiefdom. In a way it’s the ultimate libertarian society — no governmental paying for anything. The peasants starve.

    If one cannot distinguish between good government and bad government, one may make the mistake of assuming North Korea has nothing but government. If one cannot make such distinctions, however, all other distinctions are rather pointless.

    Like

  27. Black Flag® says:

    James

    Oh look, Black wants to destroy the United States and turn it into a third world nation.

    Free men will turn the US into a poor country?

    Yet, the dream of the US was freedom, not government.

    Or did you forget that?

    Since you have such a hatred of the government, black, why don’t you move to a country where there is none? Somalia has none, move there.

    You love government so much, why don’t you move to N. Korea – that is all that is there!

    Oh wait…that’s because you’re too much of a chicken shit coward and too much of a blowhard to actually attempt to live by your claimed principles. You’re all bark and no bite you depraved s.o.b

    You prove slaves hate free men.

    Like

  28. Black Flag® says:

    James,

    “Depraved” economics?
    To you, voluntary trade is ‘depraved’

    Yeah, I guess it probably is to men who are willing slaves.

    Like

  29. Black Flag® says:

    James,

    Re: Internet – because it is an excellent way to communicate…

    …and don’t bother with the dribble of Internet “invented” by government … it wasn’t.

    Re: WW2 and Cold War
    The best way to win a war is to avoid making war.

    Like

  30. Oh look, Black wants to destroy the United States and turn it into a third world nation.

    Since you have such a hatred of the government, black, why don’t you move to a country where there is none? Somalia has none, move there.

    Oh wait…that’s because you’re too much of a chicken shit coward and too much of a blowhard to actually attempt to live by your claimed principles. You’re all bark and no bite you depraved s.o.b.

    Like

  31. Black, since you apparently have such a visceral hatred of the government then why are you using the internet?

    Oh and by the way…under your depraved economic system how do you think we would have won world war 2 or the cold war?

    Like

  32. Black Flag® says:

    Want to fix education?

    End government run education.

    When the yellow bus stops running, America will “fix itself”.

    Like

  33. Ellie says:

    I don’t have anyone’s cable, just rabbit ears, but I think they are going to at least have excerpts on the website.

    http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/05/gps-special-fixing-education/?iref=allsearch

    Like

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