Paul Thomas on Arne Duncan and the Myth of Low Expectations

Diane Ravitch's blog

Paul Thomas here reviews many of the public statements of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and finds a common theme: the cause of low test scores is low expectations.

If only society, the schools, and parents had higher expectations, no child would be left behind, no child would ever get low test scores, children with disabilities would excel.

Embedded in this claim is the strange belief that poverty, hunger, homelessness, racism, and other social maladies have no effect on students’ ability to learn in school.

Thomas refers to a list of popular but misguided beliefs that Duncan loves to repeat because they support his narrative of blaming teachers, parents, and schools:

In a recent blog post, Jack Schneider identified 10 popular reform claims offered by the current slate of education reformers, including Bill Gates, Michelle Rhee, and Duncan himself:

Claim 1: American teachers need more incentive to work hard….

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