2019-07-05 14:59





  passage 1

  (题源:纽约时报 What Role Do Teachers Play in Education?)

  In 2009, Time magazine hailed an online math program piloted at three New York City public schools, as one of the year’s 50 best innovations. Each day, the software generated individualized math “playlists” for students who then chose the “modality” in which they wished to learn — software, a virtual teacher or a flesh-and-blood one. A different algorithm sorted teachers’ specialties and schedules to match a student’s needs. “It generates the lessons, the tests and it grades the tests,” one veteran instructor marveled.


  Although the program made only modest improvements in students’ math scores and was adopted by only a handful of New York schools (not the 50 for which it was slated), it serves as a notable example of a pattern that Andrea Gabor charts in “After the Education Wars.” For more than three decades, an unlikely coalition of corporate philanthropists, educational technology entrepreneurs and public education bureaucrats has spearheaded a brand of school reform characterized by the overvaluing of technology and standardized testing and a devaluing of teachers and communities. The trend can be traced back to a hyperbolic 1983 report, “A Nation at Risk,” issued by President Ronald Reagan’s National Commission on Excellence in Education. Against the backdrop of an ascendant Japanese economy and consistent with President Reagan’s disdain for public education (and teachers’ unions), “A Nation at Risk” blamed America’s ineffectual schools for a “rising tide of mediocrity” that was diminishing America’s global role in a new high-tech world.

  虽然该课程并未大幅提升学生的数学成绩,且仅有少数纽约学校采用(并非预期进驻的50所学校),但却是安德烈埃·加博尔(Andrea Gabor)在《教育战争》(After the Education Wars)中所提出的教改模式的一个典型范例。三十多年来,看似不可能达成统一战线的众多企业慈善家、教育技术企业家和公共教育官员率先掀起一股学校改革风潮,其特点就是极度重视技术及标准化测试,同时弱化对教师和社会的关注。这一风潮可以追溯到罗纳德·里根政府时期的“国家教育卓越委员会(National Commission on Excellence in Education)”于1983年发布的一份风格夸张的报告——《处于危险中的国家》(A Nation at Risk)。在日本经济崛起的背景下,里根总统曾对美国的公共教育(及教师工会)表现出蔑视之情,与此相呼应,《处于危险中的国家》也将美国“平庸之辈越来越多”归咎于美国学校的无能,认为这些庸才正不断削弱美国在高新科技领域的全球影响力。

  Policymakers turned their focus to public education as a matter of national security, one too important (and potentially too profitable) to entrust to educators. The notion that top-down decisions by politicians, not teachers, should determine what children need was a thread running through the bipartisan 2001 No Child Left Behind Act, the Obama administration’s Race to the Top and state-initiated Common Core standards, and the current charter-driven agenda of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “Accountability” became synonymous with standardized tests, resulting in a testing juggernaut with large profits going to commercial publishing giants like Pearson.

  政策制定者随后将关注点转向公共教育领域。在政策制定者看来,公共教育已上升至国家安全的高度,其重要性(或高盈利性)完全无法让政策制定者将发展公共教育的任务放心交予教育部门。有种观点认为,决定儿童教育需求的应当是政治人物(而非教师群体)自上而下的政策决策,而从2001年美国两党支持通过的“有教无类法案(No Child Left Behind Act)”,到奥巴马政府的“力争上游(Race to the Top)”计划与州共同核心课程标准,再到现任美国教育部长贝琪·德沃斯(Betsy DeVos)推行的特许学校议程,这一观念始终贯穿其中。“责任制”已成为标准化测试的代名词,导致培生教育(Pearson)等教育测试领域的大体量、高利润机构转型成为商业出版巨头。

  The education wars have been demoralizing for teachers, over 17 percent of whom drop out within their first five years. No one believes that teaching to the test is good pedagogy, but what are the options when students’ future educational choices, teachers’ salaries and retention and, in some states, the fate of entire schools rest on student test scores? In meticulous detail, Gabor documents reform’s institutional failings. She describes the turns in New York City’s testing-obsessed policies, the undermining of Michigan’s once fine public schools and the heartbreaking failure of New Orleans to remake its schools after Hurricane Katrina.


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