I continue to explore using AI in the context of education policy. Today I asked AI for a list of 10 influential books about education policy. Since I focused on environmental policy, not education policy in graduate school I have not read very many books about education policy outside specific topics. From this list, it seems like I have some reading to do during this interim. I have read articles by many of the authors listed, but I have not yet read most of these books. Out of this list, I have read books number 6 (The Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner) and 7 (Why Knowledge Matters by E.D. Hirsch Jr.). I have also read Most Likely to Succeed by Tony Wagner.
Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools by Diane Ravitch (2013)
A critique of education policies in the United States and argues for a more equitable and democratic approach to education.
The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education by Diane Ravitch (2010)
Critiques the rise of market-based education reform policies, such as high-stakes testing and school choice, and argues for a return to a more traditional, community-based approach to education.
The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America by Jonathan Kozol (2006)
Explores the continued segregation of America’s public schools and the ways in which low-income students and students of color are denied equal educational opportunities
Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools by Jonathan Kozol (1991)
A study of the disparities in education funding and resources between affluent and impoverished schools in the United States
The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World In Flux by Cathy N. Davidson (2017)
Argues for a radical redesign of higher education that focuses on project-based learning, collaboration, and interdisciplinary approaches to better prepare students for a rapidly changing world
The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don’t Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need — and What We Can Do About It by Tony Wagner (2008)
Examines the gap between traditional school curricula and the skills that students need to succeed in the modern global economy, and offers suggestions for how educators can better prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century.
Why Knowledge Matters: Rescuing Our Children from Failed Educational Theories by E.D. Hirsch Jr. (2016)
Argues for a curriculum that emphasizes foundational knowledge across subject areas, as well as the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills, to ensure that all students have access to a well-rounded education.
The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better by Daniel Koretz (2017)
Exposes the negative consequences of high-stakes testing on American education and argues for a more honest and equitable approach to student assessment.
The Beautiful Struggle: A Memoir by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2008)
A memoir that explores the author’s coming-of-age in Baltimore during the 1980s and 1990s, and his experiences navigating a flawed educational system while seeking to define his own identity and values
Teaching as a Subversive Activity by Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner (1969)
a seminal work that challenges traditional models of education and encourages teachers to engage their students in critical thinking and questioning of authority.
Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002): This case upheld the constitutionality of school voucher programs, which allow public funds to be used for private school tuition.
Overall, I think these are solid picks, but I will have to do more research to decide if these are my top 10 picks. I think that generating a list of topics to research more deeply is an appropriate use of this technology, although I would have to carefully check any summaries.
I have been curious about the teacher pipeline in Maryland. So I did what I do when I have a question, I started looking for the available data.
So, I looked at the data published by the Maryland State Department of Education on the prior experience of new hires. According to the data, 58% (2,513) of newly hired Maryland teachers are new to teaching, 19% worked in another state (or the District of Columbia or Porta Rico) just prior, 13% worked in another Maryland county, 9% worked in a Maryland nonpublic school, and the remaining worked in another county or at the SEED School. This data set does not have information about the preparation of new teachers, so I do not know if they received their teaching training at a Maryland institution of higher education or in another state or country. When I have time I will look at other sources of data.
I believe this shows all test takers, both first-time and retakers, I wish they would separate them.
The first map below shows the percent of all test takers who were proficient (level 4 or 5) on the Grade 10 English/Language Arts Exam for the 2020-2021 academic year. The second map shows the percent of economically disadvantaged students who were proficient on the same exam during the same period. The all-student map includes the economically disadvantaged students. The definition of economically disadvantaged is not immediately clear from the data. The definition was not included in the “definitions” section of the website. There is a separate measure, which includes more students, for “FARMS”-(free-and-reduced priced meal.” I assume that it is students “eligible” for free-and-reduced priced meals, but that is not specified either. The third map shows the percentage of non-economically disadvantaged students who were proficient on the exam.
I put these maps together to see if there were schools that had high test scores for the full student body but were less successful for economically disadvantaged students. The problem I ran into, which isn’t really shown in the maps, is that the schools with really high test scores overall, like Severa Park, have only a few economically disadvantaged students overall.
Played around with showing Non-FARMS High School graduates who earn a college degree by age 25. The Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center publishes the data as a percentage of high school graduates that enroll in college. I used their published numbers to see the total high school graduates. I was originally interested in FARMs students, but the data was repressed for most of the schools.
As always this is just me exploring the data that is available. I am trying to make sense of the data and be able to remember the information.
I am exploring using a map to display college enrollment data for Anne Arundel County. Unfortunately, I only have a shapefile that includes Crofton HS, which is a new school, so the boundaries do not reflect the boundaries at the time. The are other specialized high schools in the county that are not reflected in the data. Since I haven’t done mapping in a while I had to remember how to upload the data, but I figured it out pretty quickly.
I have a problem, now that I a managing people I need to figure out a good way to record and visualize what my people know. I’ve done a few google searches, and I’ve read about “skills mapping matrixes”, and while this seems like the best option out there, I’m not really excited about it, at least not yet.
I can’t decide if I want to primarily focus on what particular a member of staff knows, or focus on the areas of knowledge, and then which staff member knows the topic. I am not sure which fits my needs best. Although I think that I need to focus on the areas of knowledge.
First Step-Develop a List of Areas of Knowledge
I decided that my first step is to develop a list of areas of knowledge in the education workgroup.
There are 3 major categories Early Childhood Development and Education, Primary and Secondary, and Higher Education. There are also other misalaneous topics such as libraries and the longitudinal data system center that don’t fit into any of the other categories.
Early Childhood Development and Education
Early Childhood Development Programs
Primary and Secondary Education
Teacher Certification/Career Ladder
Governance (State Board of Education, AIB)
Alternative and Innovative Public School Programs
Assessments and Accountability
Maryland Higher Education Commission and Program Approval