Article written by

David Hursh

For the last decade David Hursh’s writing and political organizing has focused on the dangers of high-stakes testing. His most recent book, High-Stakes Testing and the Decline of Teaching and Learning: The Real Crisis in Education (Rowman and Littlefield, 2008), situates the rise of high-stakes testing in states like Texas and New York, and at the federal level with No Child Left Behind within larger debates about the purposes of education and the nature of society. Marilyn Cochran-Smith, John E. Cawthorne Professor at Boston College, wrote: "In this unusual book, David Hursh combines rich recollections of classroom teaching with trenchant analysis of the "real crisis" in education today-the neoliberal package of high stakes testing, accountability, markets and privatization. The result is a deeply disturbing but compelling and original book that puts democratic education back where it should be--at the center of discussions about schools and schooling.” In 1998 Hursh helped start the Coalition for Common Sense in Education, a group of parents, students, and educators working to changed education policy through lobbying in Albany and hosting forums. Some of the speakers the Coalition has funded include Jonathan Kozol, Angela Valenzuela, Deborah Meier, Peter Sacks, Monty Neill, and Susan Ohanian. Since the publication of his book in March, Hursh has delivered invited talks to numerous groups, including the Rochester Teachers Association, Monroe County School Board Association, and in the Arts and Lectures series at SUNY-Cortland. This upcoming academic year he has been invited to present at universities across the United States. David Hursh is a Professor at the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester.

2 Responses

Page 1 of 1
  1. Lisa Fish
    Lisa Fish at |

    To have “great” teachers, teachers should welcome to be measured on a scale of “great” to “lousy.” Oh, and there better be consequences for teachers who rate at the low half between “medicore” and “lousy.”

    To have “great” teachers, colleges and universities need “great” undergrad/grad programs and curriculi that is 1)based on current/relevant research-based methodologies, 2) mandate dual special ed and gen ed certifications, 4) increase the time requirement re: student teaching (hands-on) responsibilities across both special ed and gen ed fields, and 4) at a minimum, mandate candidates take a 3.0 course in education law – especially evolution of education law and IDEA.

    Teachers and teachers’ unions can’t have it both ways:  They can’t claim they’re “great,” and then when the system is failing, claim they haven’t been part of the failure.

    Isn’t Interesting that the teachers’ unions find themselves like deer in the headlights, betrayed by the Obama — and Duffy — administrations who are wagging their fingers, gunning for school control.  Perhaps unions should have placed their faith in parents and families all along instead of the lobbying groups such as NSBA, UFT, NEA, and NYSUT.   Primrose Lane leads to full government control of teachers/schools and doctors/hospitals.

  2. Liz Hallmark
    Liz Hallmark at |

    The anti-mayoral control side has not expressed their arguments clearly enough. While I agree that vision and professional development are key to improvement, the following questions need addressing: 1) What is the connection between mayoral control and teacher denigration? Why couldn’t the mayor as easily as anyone else appoint teacher-led task forces to improve professional development? 2) How is it that our current school board control inspires improved vision around teaching professional development? I see Urbanski defending teachers’ jobs but not necessarily revisioning PD or empowering teachers’ ideas. I would think it is the vision rather than the title of the person that  makes the most difference.

Comments are closed.