(Over)managing learning: The “administrative burden” consumes staff time and priorities in a community literacy program

A program coordinator in a community-based Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) program took some time from her work to walk me through the systems and processes she has developed to fulfill mandated ministry reporting and organize a learning program.* Patti (a pseudonym) works full-time at an urban community-centre, which hosts the LBS program. Her paid … Continue reading (Over)managing learning: The “administrative burden” consumes staff time and priorities in a community literacy program

A mapping of the “administrative burden” in LBS programs

This will be the first of a few posts focused on particular findings, conclusions and recommendations in the recent Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) evaluation report. I hope to highlight and synthesize identified issues, providing both policy analysts and LBS support organizations the in-depth knowledge and understandings needed to make important decisions moving forward. The … Continue reading A mapping of the “administrative burden” in LBS programs

Know-It-All School Reformers

Although Larry Cuban’s post on school reform is focused on the US K-12 system, this overview of what we know and don’t know about education reform, including the impacts of curriculum, testing and performance or merit pay systems, relates to what we have seen happening in Ontario’s adult literacy system.

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Listen to Michael Mann, a climatolgist at Penn State University who talked about the science behind global warming and rising sea levels.

Any honest assessment of the science is going to recognize that there are things we understand pretty darn well and things that we sort of know. But there are things that are uncertain and there are things we just have no idea about whatsoever. (Nate Silver, The Signal and the Noise, 2012, p. 409).

Ah, if only federal and state policymakers, researchers, and reform-minded educators would see the “science” of school reform in K-12 and higher education in similar terms. “Science” is in quote marks because there is no reliable, much less valid, theory of school reform that can predict events or improvements in schools and classroom instruction.

Still, for K-12 children and youth there are “things we understand pretty darn well.”

*We understand that socioeconomic…

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Now we have something real to talk about: From 50% to 15% of the population with literacy challenges

There’s a lot happening in Ontario’s Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) program these days. On April 12 a long-awaited and very critical evaluation report was released. Then, on April 28 an influx of new funding was announced in the Ontario Budget. This year, LBS will receive an additional 20 million dollars, a 20% increase, with … Continue reading Now we have something real to talk about: From 50% to 15% of the population with literacy challenges