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July 4, 2010

Wisconsin education policy, like kudzu, is overgrown: Standards Based Accountability in Wisconsin

Alan Borsuk:

Kudzu? Who dares compare Wisconsin's education policies to kudzu?

Christopher Brown, a professor in curriculum and instruction at the University of Texas at Austin, that's who.

Kudzu is a plant that originated in Asia. Agriculture officials in the U.S. encouraged its use, starting in the 1930s, as a low cost way to stem soil erosion. But, especially in the South, it spread rapidly and far beyond intended areas. It became regarded as a weed.

Hmm. Launched with good intentions, appealing as an easy option, it grew rapidly and accomplished little. That sums up Brown's analysis of Wisconsin education policy from the late 1980s to the early 2000s. In his observations there lie major lessons for those who want to raise the expectations of students in Wisconsin and see more students meet those expectations.

Someone recently pointed me to Brown's analysis, which started as a doctoral dissertation while he was at the University of Wisconsin-Madison a few years ago. Just the title of the version published in 2008 in the academic journal Educational Policy made me laugh - and wince:

Clusty Search: Christopher P. Brown.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at July 4, 2010 2:39 PM
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