50 things you need to know about public school

50 myths
Find out what the real crisis is in the halls of public schools. / Provided

“50 Myths and Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools: The Real Crisis in Education” is exactly what it purports to be, a compilation of false but pervasive claims — about the public-school system, teaching methods, and how students learn — coupled with research-supported refutations of those claims. But it is more than that. The book, published by Teachers College Press on March 22, is also an impassioned effort to save our country’s education system, which it aims to do by teaching the general public how it all works.

The two lead authors, David C. Berliner (a professor and dean at Arizona State University, PhD recipient in educational psychology from Stanford, author of more than 200 articles, books, and chapters on education) and Gene Glass (senior researcher at the National Education Policy Center, professor at University of Colorado Boulder, elected member of the National Academy of Education), worked with a team of 19 other researchers in the field of education, and cited hundreds of studies in their arguments.

We asked why. “It pains us to see teaching turned into mind-numbing coaching for standardized tests,” Dr. Glass said, when he spoke with us. And he knows that this project may ruffle some feathers: “To talk about our schools being ‘threatened,’ or to imply that some in the education-reform business might not be 100% truthful, is pretty strong language,” he says. “Unfortunately the times call for strong language.”

Six myths you need to stop believing:

• MYTH: International tests show that the United States has a second-rate education system.
• TRUTH: We lead the world in the number of high performers. The percentage of low performers correlates with our country’s high child-poverty rate, which has long been linked to low test scores.

• MYTH: Private schools are better than public schools.
• TRUTH: After isolating variables such as poverty and parental involvement — long proved to most effect academic achievement — public school students were actually found to outperform their private school peers.

• MYTH: Charter schools are better than traditional public schools.
• TRUTH: Center for Research on Education Outcomes studies in 2009 and 2013 report that public schools outperform charter schools in both math and reading.

• MYTH: Teachers should be evaluated on the basis of the performance of their students.
• TRUTH: “Value-added measurement” methods have led to the neglect of poorer students, whose scores tend to be lower, and to school systems which cheat by making tests easier. Meanwhile, there have been no changes in the achievement gap, and testing gains on whole are small.

• MYTH: Retaining children in grade—”flunking” them—helps struggling students catch up and promotes better classroom instruction for all.
• TRUTH: Studies done on statistically similar children, one promoted and one flunked, report that the promoted child usually performs better in the higher grade, and when not, the two do about the same on tests.

• MYTH: Homework boosts achievement.
• TRUTH: Multiple studies have found no link between homework and achievement. In the author’s words, “There is more credible scholarship on the negative effects of homework, than on its merits.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.