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Educational policy analysis archives.
n Vol. 11, no. 28 (August 07, 2003).
Tempe, Ariz. :
b Arizona State University ;
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida.
c August 07, 2003
Reforms, research and variability: A Reply to Lois Weiner / Lauren B. Resnick -- Reply To Resnicks reforms, research And variability / Lois Weiner.
Arizona State University.
University of South Florida.
t Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA)
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1 of 7 A peer-reviewed scholarly journal Editor: Gene V Glass College of Education Arizona State University Copyright is retained by the first or sole author, who grants right of first publication to the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES EPAA is a project of the Education Policy Studies Laboratory. Articles appearing in EPAA are abstracted in the Current Index to Journals in Education by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation and are permanently archived in Resources in Education Volume 11 Number 28August 7, 2003ISSN 1068-2341Reforms, Research and Variability: A Reply to Lois Weiner Lauren B. Resnick University of PittsburghCitation: Resnick, L. B. (2003, August 7). Reforms, research and variability: A reply to Lois Weiner. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 11 (28). Retrieved [Date] from http://epaa.asu.edu/epa a/v11n28/.AbstractLois Weiner (2003) argues that the research reports from High Performance Learning Communities (HPLC) were biased because of the close working relationships between the researc hers and the leaders of the Community School District Two (CSD2) reform. Contrary to any claims otherwise, this relationship was quite open and acknowledged. The intent of the HPLC investigat ion was always to link scholars and practitioners in a new form of research and development in which scholars became problem-solvin g partners with practitioners. There are important issues about how to profitably conduct such Â“problem-solvingÂ” research. These issu es are worth substantial attention from the communities of resea rchers and practitioners as collaborative research/practice pa rtnerships proliferate. Serious studies of such partnerships a re needed, going well beyond the anecdotal attacks offered by Weiner in her article. Dr. WeinerÂ’s (2003) article is at once an analysis of data on demographics and achievement in Community School District Two (CSD2) in New York City and an
2 of 7 attack on the research strategy (and by implication the research ethics) of the High Performance Learning Communities (HPLC) project tha t I co-directed, along with Richard Elmore and Anthony Alvarado. Her paper begi ns with what can only be construed as a personal attack on the researchers a nd practitioners of the HPLC project. The attack is inherent in the title of the paper, in the way quotes are used and in the personal story of WeinerÂ’s own interest that threads through the introduction but is never fully documented. Neverth eless, I welcome Dr. WeinerÂ’s effort to provide new data and a fresh perspective on work to which we devoted substantial professional effort during the period 1 996-2001. Dr. Weiner points out that CSD2 was not a typical u rban district in terms of its demography. She is absolutely right about this. As we have noted in most reports on HPLC research, the district sits in the midst of some of the greatest concentrations of wealth in the nation, and a notic eable (although minority) portion of middle class parents send their children to CSD2 schools. At the same time, the district has large numbers of students of color and families of poverty (as measured by eligibility for free and reduced lunch), as well as immigrant students who are in the process of learning English.Dr. WeinerÂ’s reports of the demographics of the dis trict as a whole and schools within the district roughly match the data we have collected and reported in several papers over the course of our five-year study. Perh aps most important to her argument is that schools in CSD2 did not uniformly represent the demographics of the district as a whole. That is correct. CSD2 cont ained Â“richÂ” schools and Â“poorÂ” schools, schools with very few children of color an d others almost entirely filled with minority students. The variability among schools wa s never in question. What is important to ask is whether CSDÂ’s unique (at the ti me) system of curriculum leadership and professional development within scho ols led to learning gainsÂ—especially in Â“high needÂ” schools.Dr. Weiner addresses this question by comparing CSD 2 schools with relatively high need ratings (7 schools in all) with a single high need school in District 25 in a single year on a single test in one subject matter. Overall, the CSD2 schools did not outperform the District 25 school. Dr. Weiner seems to imply that we should therefore conclude that CSD2Â’s program of curriculu m and professional development was not effective. PossiblyÂ—but it pays to look at more evidence than she provides. HPLC conducted a number of analyses o f CSD2 academic performance, both for the district as a whole and s chool-by-school. Summaries of most of these analyses appear in the 2001 Final Report of the project. (Note 1) One HPLC analysis examined changes over time in rea ding and mathematics during the period 1992 to 1998Â—a period in which th e CSD2 curriculum and professional program was being put into place and e xpanded, and during which a stable test in each subject was being used in New Y ork City. In 1993Â—the first year of New YorkÂ’s renormed math achievement test, just under 70% of CSD2 students were at or above grade level in math; in 1998 abo ut 82% of CSD2 students were at or above grade level. The story is similar for r eading: Scores rose from just under 60% at or above grade level in 1992 to about 72% in 1998. This gradual rise in overall achievement could have resulted from a change in overall district demographics resulting from more m iddle class students attending
3 of 7 CSD schools. But it did not. According to our data, during this period the percentage of students in the district eligible for free or reduced lunch remained stable at about 53%.The overall improvement also might have resulted ma inly from nudging students already near Â“grade levelÂ” over the mark into perfo rmance level 3, leaving the students in greatest need behind. To check this, we analyzed achievement quartile-by-quartile wherever such data was availab le in several successive years on the same test. In the period between 1996 and 20 00, the proportion of CSD2 students testing in the bottom quartile in reading fell a bit every yearÂ—to a low of just over10% by 2000. Math drops were smaller, perh aps because the CSD2 math curriculum and professional development system was introduced later and might not yet have fully taken root.Unfortunately, we were not able to obtain detailed enough data on other districts in New York to make comparisons with them. But we were able to use the variability among schools within CSD2 to examine whether the le adershipÂ’s curriculum and professional development system can be credited wit h raising achievement, especially for children with the greatest academic need. Using questionnaires and ratings of classroom instructional quality to asses s the extent of engagement in the CSD2 program, our studies showed that deep teacher engagement in professional development and faithful implementation of the dist rictÂ’s literacy and math programs both raised overall achievement and reduce d the connection between achievement and socioeconomic status. It is interes ting that a similar finding for mathematics, using a different curriculum but a sim ilar professional development system, was reported for the Pittsburgh Public Scho ols during the period 1996-98. (Note 2) We are still left with the question of whether ther e was something special about the mix of students and schools in CSD2 that might have made it easier than elsewhere to effect the kinds of learning changes t hat the leadership sought. Here Dr. Weiner makes an important contribution in calli ng to attention the fact that there are important cultural differences among minority a nd English learning groups. As she points out, several of the high poverty schools in CSD2 were Chinatown schools. She suggests that Chinese immigrants are, in OgbuÂ’s terminology, Â”voluntaryÂ” immigrants, and their children perhaps more likely to participate actively in the opportunities offered by schools. This and o ther possible cultural difference between the Chinatown schools and other high povert y and minority schools certainly warrant further investigation. Meanwhile, however, WeinerÂ’s data make it clear that Asian students and schools were not the only minorities who did well in the CSD2 reform effort. Note, for example that the school with the highest overall academic performance in Dr. WeinerÂ’s Table 5 (PS 19 8 in CSD2), had a population of 52% Hispanic and 26% Black students. Thus, inter esting as the Â“Asian questionÂ” is, does not call the overall record of CSD2 into q uestion. This brings me back to what appears to be Dr. Weine rÂ’s main point: That the research reports from HPLC were biased because of t he close working relationships between the investigators and the lea ders of the CSD2 reform. There was never a secret about this relationship. Indeed the intent of the HPLC investigation from the start was to link scholars a nd practitioners in a (then) new form of research and development in which scholars became problem-solving
4 of 7 partners with practitioners and practitioners accep ted the responsibility of collecting evidence in as unbiased a manner as possible, using it to refine andÂ—when necessaryÂ—alter their theories of action. (Note 3) Our goal was to deeply document, analyze and understand the actual practices of the CSD2 reform. We conducted extensive interview and observation studies of prof essional development and classroom practice as well as the studies discussed here that examined impact on student learning. VariabilityÂ—among students, teach ers and schoolsÂ—was a central object of investigation and analysis throughout.HPLC was not a simple undertaking and there were di fficulties encountered along the way. Dr. Weiner points to one of themÂ—an unwill ingness of many teachers to return a questionnaire when they felt that anonymit y could not be guaranteed because of the relationship between the researchers and the district leaders. Problems of that kind are easy to recognize and to address. There are in addition deeper issues about how to profitably conduct such Â“problem-solvingÂ” research, howeverÂ—for example, the subtle ways in which quest ion are formulated, or avoided, because of the common perspectives that em erge in long collaborations. These issues are worth substantial attention from t he research and practice communities as collaborative research/practice part nerships proliferate. Serious studies of such partnerships are needed, going well beyond the anecdotal attacks offered by Dr. Weiner in the opening sections of he r paper. At the same time, it is critically important to con duct more Â“arm's lengthÂ” research on reform programs or other interventions that appe ar to be succeeding. The HPLC project did not claim to be an armÂ’s length investi gation, but all parties to it would welcome such investigations. CSD2 as such no longer exists (having been absorbed into a much larger instructional Region in New YorkÂ’s recent school reorganization). But many of the ideas pioneered in CSD2 are now being tried in districts across the country. There is, thus, plent y of opportunity both for collaborative problem-solving research of the HPLC variety and more arm's length evaluations. Such studies will tell us what aspects of the CSD2 effort can Â“travelÂ” well to other environments, what effects they have on various populations of students and educators, andÂ—of utmost importanceÂ—wh at revised or totally new theories of action are likely to meet the demands f or increased academic achievement across a broad spectrum of the school p opulation.Notes 1. High Performance Learning Communities Project: Fina l Report (September 15, 2001). Learning Research and Development Center, Un iversity of Pittsburgh, September 15, 2001. (Available on the HPLC website: http://www.lrdc.pitt.edu/hplc) 2. Briars, D., & Resnick, L. B.. Standards, assessments Â– and what else? The essential elements of standards-based school improv ement. CRESST Technical Report, 2000. 3. This form of Problem Solving Research and Development was recommended in a National Academy of Education report to OERI as o ne important means of bringing research and practice into closer interact ion See Brown, A.L. & Greeno, J.G. (Eds.) Recommendations regarding research priorities: An a dvisory report to the National Educational Research Policy and Priori ties Board. National Academy
5 of 7 of Education. Spring, 1999.ReferenceWeiner, L. (2003, August 7). Research or Â“cheerlead ingÂ”? Scholarship on Community School District 2, New York City. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 11 (27). Retrieved [date] from http://epaa.asu.edu/epa a/v11n27/.About the AuthorLauren B. ResnickDirector and Senior ScientistLearning Research and Development CenterUniversity of Pittsburgh3939 O'Hara StreetPittsburgh, PA 15260Phone: 412-624-7020Fax: 412-624-9149Email: email@example.comLauren B. Resnick is an internationally known schol ar in the cognitive science of learning and instruction. Her recent research has f ocused on school reform, assessment, effort-based education, the nature and development of thinking abilities, and the relation between school learning and everyday competence. Her current work lies at the intersection of cognitive science and policy for education. Dr. Resnick founded and directs the Institute for L earning, which focuses on professional development based on cognitive learnin g principles and effort-oriented education. She is co-founder and co-director of the New Standards Project, which has developed standards and assessments that have w idely influenced state and school district practice. Resnick was a member of t he Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce and served as chair of the a ssessment committee of the SCANS Commission and of the Resource Group on Stude nt Achievement of the National Education Goals Panel. She has served on t he Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education and on the Mathem atical Sciences Education Board at the National Research Council. Her Nationa l Academy of Sciences monograph, Education and Learning to Think has been influential in school reform efforts, and her widely circulated Presidential Add ress to the American Educational Research Association, "Learning In School and Out," has shaped thinking about youth apprenticeship and school-to-work transition. Dr. Resnick is Professor of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, where s he directs the Learning Research and Development Center. Educated at Radcli ffe and Harvard, she received the 1998 E. L. Thorndike Award from the Am erican Psychological Association and the 1999 Oeuvre Award from the Euro pean Association for Research on Learning and Instruction. The World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is epaa.asu.edu
6 of 7 Editor: Gene V Glass, Arizona State UniversityProduction Assistant: Chris Murrell, Arizona State University General questions about appropriateness of topics o r particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, firstname.lastname@example.org or reach him at College of Education, Arizona State Un iversity, Tempe, AZ 85287-2411. The Commentary Editor is Casey D. Cobb: email@example.com .EPAA Editorial Board Michael W. Apple University of Wisconsin David C. Berliner Arizona State University Greg Camilli Rutgers University Linda Darling-Hammond Stanford University Sherman Dorn University of South Florida Mark E. Fetler California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Gustavo E. Fischman California State UniveristyÂ–LosAngeles Richard Garlikov Birmingham, Alabama Thomas F. Green Syracuse University Aimee Howley Ohio University Craig B. Howley Appalachia Educational Laboratory William Hunter University of Ontario Institute ofTechnology Patricia Fey Jarvis Seattle, Washington Daniel Kalls Ume University Benjamin Levin University of Manitoba Thomas Mauhs-Pugh Green Mountain College Les McLean University of Toronto Heinrich Mintrop University of California, Los Angeles Michele Moses Arizona State University Gary Orfield Harvard University Anthony G. Rud Jr. Purdue University Jay Paredes Scribner University of Missouri Michael Scriven University of Auckland Lorrie A. Shepard University of Colorado, Boulder Robert E. Stake University of IllinoisÂ—UC Kevin Welner University of Colorado, Boulder Terrence G. Wiley Arizona State University John Willinsky University of British ColumbiaEPAA Spanish Language Editorial Board
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1 of 9 A peer-reviewed scholarly journal Editor: Gene V Glass College of Education Arizona State University Copyright is retained by the first or sole author, who grants right of first publication to the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES EPAA is a project of the Education Policy Studies Laboratory. Articles appearing in EPAA are abstracted in the Current Index to Journals in Education by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation and are permanently archived in Resources in Education Volume 11 Number 28c February 2, 2004ISSN 1068-2341Reply To ResnickÂ’s Â“Reforms, Research And Variabili tyÂ” Lois Weiner New Jersey City UniversityCitation: Weiner, L. (2004, February 3). Reply To R esnickÂ’s Â“Reforms, Research And VariabilityÂ”. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 11 (28c). Retrieved [date] from http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v11n28c/. Related article: Vol. 11 No. 28 AbstractDr. ResnickÂ’s response to my article and HPLCÂ’s fin al report on CSD 2 shows we concur about two key concerns. One i s the difficulty and importance of developing modes of re search that allow university-based scholars to assist school of ficials. Another is attention to variability in achievement levels a ssociated with studentsÂ’ race and ethnicity. However, her response still fall short in taking into account external threats to the vali dity of the studyÂ’s conclusions that CSD 2's model of reform has raised achievement and is exportable. I present newly available census data that suggests why use of data disaggregated by race and ethnicity is essential to make a compelling case that the rise i n test scores was not caused by the influx of different kinds of students. I suggest that while pointed, the articleÂ’s critique is political in nature and does not constitute a personal attack on the researchersÂ’ whose work has been scrutinized. I pro pose that airing differences among researchers on difficult q uestions in
2 of 9 urban school systems can model the kind of frank ex change that should occur when researchers and school officials collaborate, so as to make space for dissenting viewpoints in schoo ls. I appreciate Lauren ResnickÂ’s thoughtful response t o my critique of research done in and on District 2, and I hope that other scholars whose work has proposed that CSD 2 is a model for urban school reform, including Dr. Elmore will join in this discussion. (Note 1) Dr. Resnick and I concur on two key issues. One is the difficulty and importance of developing modes of research that allow universitybased scholars to assist school officials. Another is the importance of taking into consideration the variability in achievement levels associated with studentsÂ’ race a nd ethnicity. In this second regard, HPLCÂ’s final report is considerably more nuanced in its characterization of District 2's success than the earlier reports (HPLC Final Report 2001). The final report also pays closer attention to CSD 2's demographics and resources and its exceptionality as an urban district Yet, the analysis still falls short. In this response I present newly analyzed census data that suggests wh y use of achievement scores disaggregated by race and ethnicity is essential to make a compelling case that the rise in test scores was not caused by the influx of diff erent kinds of students. I conclude with a response to the characterization of my article as a Â“personal attackÂ” that stems from my unexplored Â“personal interest,Â” suggesting that the disagreement is primarily political and personal.Demographics And Test ScoresResponding to my suggestion that changes in test sc ores in District 2 may be due to alterations in its demographic, Dr. Resnick notes: This gradual rise in overall achievement could have resulted from a change in overall district demographics resulting from more m iddle class students attending CSD schools. But it did not. According to our data, during this period the percentage of students in the district e ligible for free or reduced lunch remained stable at about 53%. Here as in the final report, Dr. Resnick uses data about stable poverty rates in the district AS A WHOLE. During the period of time marked by ris ing test scores, 1993-1998, two striking demographic changes occurred simultaneousl y in CSD 2. The median income in Chinatown fell, dramatically, and the population of Lower Manhattan soared and gentrified. A new analysis puts the change this way : TriBeCa and Chinatown are divided by only one stree tÂ—Â—Broadway. However, the disparity between the rich on the west side of Broadway, and poor on the east side of Broadway, grew in the last decade. According to a newly released scholarly analysis of census data, t he median household income in TriBeCa increased $20,000 in the last 10 years to about $90,000. In contrast, ChinatownÂ’s median income dropped $3,0 00 in the same period, to only $20,000Â” (World Journal, 2002, online). As the quote above indicates, census data must be r e-analyzed to understand changes in neighborhoods in New York City because the units of measurement in the census do not correspond to neighborhoods or to school dist ricts. Still, the analysis that has now been done, cited above, indicates the reasons resea rchersÂ’ use of an overall figure for CSD 2's level of poverty may be misleading. The are a that spans Lower Manhattan
3 of 9 (Community District 1), including Tribeca, is part of CSD 2. Census data indicate that from 1994-2001 the total population in this area increased from 25, 366 to 34,420 but the percentage of the population receiving public a ssistance declined from 33.5 to 6.8% A sharp drop in the number of people receiving AF DC also occurred in Community District 2, which encompasses Greenwich V illage and Chelsea, while the total population remained about the same ( New York City Department of Planning, Community District Profiles, n.d., online)If one looks only at the CSD 2's overall poverty le vel, one misses this change. An increased population in Chinatown schools of poor i mmigrant students would have raised the numbers of CSD 2 students in poverty. Bu t the increase in numbers of poor Chinese students would have been counterbalanced by the influx of students from wealthy and middle class families, for instance in Tribeca and Chelsea. The census data is suggestive that the stable overall poverty rate for CSD 2 may mask very significant demographic changes that account for some part of t he increase in test scores over the decade. School-Wide Data Mask Within-School SegregationAchievement data disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and poverty district-wide and within each school seems to me essential to make the case that CSD 2 has succeeded in boosting achievement of Black and Hispanic students for another reason. Research on CSD 2 has used school-wide achievement data but thi s may mask different levels of achievement within schools, due to the presence of gifted and talented programs, programs that enroll more White, middle class stude nts. Employing a method of testing for racial bias used widely to detect discriminatio n in housing, ACORN, the community advocacy organization, sent African American and Wh ite testers to New York City public schools to inquire about placing their children in gifted and talented programs and concluded that African American and Latino parents were steered away from these programs (ACORN, n.d.). The evidence was brought to the attention of the U.S. Department of Education, civil rights division, whi ch entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the NYC Board of Education in 19 98 to assure equal access (Advocates for Children, n.d.)The ACORN report comments on these practices in CSD 2: At PS 116 (CSD 2), the request of the white tester to see some classes Â‘was granted graciously.Â’ The black tester, who was not shown any classes, was told that classrooms were usually viewed in group t ours. At another CSD 2 school, PS 11, an office worker insisted that a bla ck tester could not possibly live at the address she presented (London Terrace), implying that it was not a "black" address; the tester was then given no infor mation about the school or its gifted program. A subsequent white tester had n o problem presenting a London Terrace address. (n.p.)At PS 116 (CSD 2), the principal displayed surprise that the white tester was inquiring about the regular program, explained the gifted program and, despite the fact that the program has a waiting lis t, provided an application form and told her she could have her child tested a t a number of locations. The white tester was even given listings of private school bus services that provide transportation to the school from the Upper East Side as well as from the Upper West Side -which is not part of Distric t 2. The black tester at PS 116 was also treated cordially but had to inquire a bout the gifted program and was told by the office person that registration did not guarantee acceptance
4 of 9 into the program. At PS 11 (CSD 2), the white teste r was even provided with a list of private testing services whom she could c all. (n.p.) My article proposed that PS 11's scores required cl ose examination because the schoolÂ’s scores were reported in the aggregate, a f actor that masked the presence of a segregated gifted and talented program. This inform ation is in the section that Resnick refers to as Â“anecdoteÂ” but the ACORN report confir ms the information I gathered from my informants.Â“AnecdoteÂ” Or Â“Description Of The ContextÂ”?I do not dispute Dr. ResnickÂ’s observation that inf ormation I gathered from a relatively small number of teachers and administrators in CSD 2 can be characterized as Â“anecdotal.Â” I agree that it is suggestive rather t han conclusive. However, I contend that these interviews constituted the sort of preliminar y field work that researchers regularly use to identify external threats to a studyÂ’s valid ity. Another illustration of the reasons Â“anecdotalÂ” inf ormation of the sort I gathered is valuable is the case of PS 198, a school to which D r. Resnick calls our attention: Note, for example that the school with the highest overall academic performance in Dr. WeinerÂ’Â’s Table 5 (PS 198 in CSD 2), had a population of 52% Hispanic and 26% Black students. Thus, interest ing as the Â“Â“Asian questionÂ”Â” is, does not call the overall record of CSD2 into question. A commentary piece in Education Week written by a literacy volunteer at PS 198 who was critical of the Â“balanced literacyÂ” initiative, and the exchanges that ensued between Anthony Alvarado and Elaine Fink, suggest that use of PS 198 as an exemplar of the success of CSD 2's literacy program is problematic. (Note 2) The literacy volunteer, Louisa Spencer, observes Â“Soon after coming to PS 198, I had heard that its remarkable recovery in reading scores had owed a great deal to its princip al's insisting on the introduction of Open Court in the early grades. Ms. Harwayne's exposition of the district balanced-reading program included no s uch ingredient, however, and, instead, presented with great artistry the mer its of the district's system, denying the reality of any dichotomy between phonic s and "whole language" methods and explaining how the district seamlessly combines them. But I was curious about PS 198's introduction of Op en Court, and after the program, I asked her about it. She was visibly anno yed and replied quite forcefully, yes, it was introduced because that school seemed t o need extra phonics, but it would never be allowed in any other district school (italics in the original). (Note 3) SpencerÂ’s comments mirrored information I had gathe red about 198's use of Open Court from other informants, but as I had been unable to make direct contact with anyone who had worked in PS 198, I did not use this informatio n and did not discuss PS 198's scores. Curiously, despite the public nature of Spe ncerÂ’s comment that the school relied on materials that are not associated with the Distr ict 2 literacy model, Dr. Resnick presents PS 198 as evidence of District 2's success in increasing the achievement of minority students who are not AsianÂ—without discuss ion or refutation of SpencerÂ’s report.
5 of 9 Political CritiqueMy critique is not intended to minimize the difficu lties that arise in collaboration between researchers and school officials, or the importance of trying to develop new sorts of cooperation, especially in urban districts. However I maintain that collaboration demands the stance from university-based researcher s of Â“critical friendship.Â” The insular nature of the relationship between the rese archers and CSD 2 officials, including union leaders, as articulated in the Â“nesting dollÂ” study design, seems to have undercut the aspect of critique that was needed.I regret that Dr. Resnick considers my analysis of research on District 2 a personal attack. That is certainly not my intent. The discus sion in my article is of research formulated and reported by the principal investigat ors of the studies, including but not limited to Dr. Resnick. Her biography makes clear t hat as a conscientious scholar she takes personal responsibility for research publishe d under her name. My article criticizes work for which she is a principal investigator. I a cknowledge that the article may be unusual in the sharpness of its political criticisms of the research but it leaves the calculation of the moral dimensions of the researcherÂ’s roles and decisions to readers. My initial motivation for examining research on CSD 2 was an interest in determining why a school with high test scores was under Â“surve illance,Â” a term that I acknowledge is is pointed but describes the intense scrutiny and d iscipline of school people enforced through the Â“walk through.Â” I fully described my re lationship with the school elsewhere, in a publication cited in the article (Weiner, 2002). I submit that my interest in research on CSD 2 is no more Â“personalÂ” than Dr. ResnickÂ’s in c ollaborating with CSD 2 officials. However, I do have a political reason for pursuing this research, one unconnected to the curricular content of the model, on which I have of fered no opinion beyond suggesting that all Â“one size fits allÂ” curricular mandates fa il to take into account the importance of context (Weiner, 2002). One political concern I hav e about CSD 2's model is its presumption that professionals should control schoo ling (Weiner, 2002). CSD 2's assumption is challenged by a new research synthesi s about benefits that accrue from schoolsÂ’ respect of knowledge that families bring t o childrenÂ’s schooling (Henderson and Mapp, 2002).Another political issue sparked my study of researc h on CSD 2, my concern about fear among teachers and administrators in CSD 2 schools who felt inadequately protected by their union. Children who are taught by fearful tea chers do not learn how to think critically or to be courageous in defense of unpopular ideas o r beliefs, and I believe this is as important to schooling as what is contained in any math or literacy curriculum. An essential role of research, especially in bureaucra tic, hierarchical school systems, is to make elbow room for critique by asking very hard qu estions and pressing school officials to do the same. Research that fails to uncover taci t cultural assumptions, for instance about whose knowledge counts, can miseducate talent ed, conscientious school officials with whom researchers collaborate because the resea rch deflects attention from very difficult topics, ones essential to reform, like th e variability of student achievement associated with race and ethnicity.I hope that understanding of CSD 2 as a model for u rban school reform has been refined in this exchange of sometimes sharp differences. Ju st as important, I hope we have modeled and made space in urban schools for similar discussions among families, teachers, and administrators. I thank Dr. Resnick f or responding to my article and thus joining with me in this project.
6 of 9 Notes1. A more recent addition to the scholarship on CSD 2's model has been done on its implementation in San Diego. Discussion of this res earch goes beyond the scope of my EPAA article and response. However, some of this new re search adopts the same uncritical perspective about the modelÂ’s implementa tion in New York. For instance, one report comments that Anthony Alvarado "moved Distri ct #2 to the second highest performing community district in New York City, out of 32 districts, in his 10 years as superintendent."(p. 2), Hightower, A. ( 2002). San Diego City Schools: Comprehensive reform strategies at work. Teaching Quality Policy Briefs. University of Wash ington, Seattle WA: Center for the Study of Teaching and Po licy. 2. The original article is one of Â“Two Views of Man hattanÂ’s District 2,Â” in Education Week 28 February 2001 available to registered users athttp://www.educationweek.org/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=24 district2.h20. An article I wrote is the other viewpoint. Anthony Alvarado and Elaine Fi nkÂ’s commentary Â“Critiques of District 2 Are Seen as Baseless,Â” in Education Week 28 March 2001, is available to registered users at http://www.educationweek.org/ew /ewstory.cfm?slug=28letter.h20. 3. The response by the literacy volunteer, Louisa S pencer, Â“District 2 Critique: No Ideology Involved,Â” to Alvarado and FinkÂ’s commenta ry is available to registered users at http://www.educationweek.org/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=30letter.h20&keywords=%22Spencer%2 2%20and%20%22Louisa%22 References ACORN,( n.d.) Â“A Report on Racial Discrimination Ag ainst Black and Latino Parents and Children in the New York City Public Schools,Â” by t he New York ACORN School Office, available at http://www.acorn.org/ACORNarchives/stu dies/secretapartheid/. Accessed 8 August 2003.Advocates for Children, Gifted and Talented Program s, available at http://www.advocatesforchildren.org/resource/gifted .php3. Accessed 6 August 2003. Henderson A. & Mapp K. (2002) Â“A New Wave of Eviden ce: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achiev ement,Â” published by the Southwest Educational Development Lab, available athttp://www.sedl.org/pubs/catalog/items/fam33.html.High Performance Learning Communities Project: Fina l Report (September 15, 2001). Learning Research and Development Center, Universit y of Pittsburgh, September 15, 2001. Accessed 7 August 2003.New York City Department of Planning, Community Dis trict Profiles. Available at http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/lucds/cdstart.html Accessed 7 August 2003. Weiner, L. (2002). Â“ Assessing systemicÂ’Â’s reform Â‘ learning by allÂ’: Who evaluates learning by policy analysts? Educational Policy, 16 (2): 239-263. World Journal (2002 August), Â“Where new immigrants rushed in, median income dropped; Chinese communityÂ’s median income slid in the past decade.Â” Accessed 8 August 2003 at http://www.indypressny.org/article.p hp3?ArticleID=301
7 of 9 About the AuthorLois WeinerLois Weiner is a Professor of Elementary and Second ary Education at New Jersey City University, 2039 Kennedy Blvd., Jersey City, NJ 073 05. Email correspondence should be addressed to LWEINER@NJCU.EDU. The World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is epaa.asu.edu Editor: Gene V Glass, Arizona State UniversityProduction Assistant: Chris Murrell, Arizona State University General questions about appropriateness of topics o r particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, firstname.lastname@example.org or reach him at College of Education, Arizona State Universi ty, Tempe, AZ 85287-2411. The Commentary Editor is Casey D. Cobb: email@example.com .EPAA Editorial Board Michael W. Apple University of Wisconsin David C. Berliner Arizona State University Greg Camilli Rutgers University Linda Darling-Hammond Stanford University Sherman Dorn University of South Florida Mark E. Fetler California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Gustavo E. Fischman Arizona State UniveristyÂ–Los Angeles Richard Garlikov Birmingham, Alabama Thomas F. Green Syracuse University Aimee Howley Ohio University Craig B. Howley Appalachia Educational Laboratory William Hunter University of Ontario Institute ofTechnology Patricia Fey Jarvis University of WashingtonSeattle Pacific University Daniel Kalls Ume University Benjamin Levin University of Manitoba Thomas Mauhs-Pugh Green Mountain College Les McLean University of Toronto Heinrich Mintrop University of California, Los Angeles Michele Moses Arizona State University Gary Orfield Harvard University Anthony G. Rud Jr. Purdue University Jay Paredes Scribner University of Missouri
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