Tag Archives: RttT

Unwarranted Demise of Mar Vista Middle School

27 Mar

In February, while attending a science teacher’s professional development at Mar Vista High School, I first heard the rumor that Mar Vista Middle School (MVM) was going to be closed, all of its staff dismissed and the school reopened as a charter school. Since 1961, this venerable institution has been a treasure in the poverty stricken neighborhood situated one mile north of the world’s busiest border crossing (San Diego-Tijuana). At the March 11, 2013 board meeting (Sweetwater Union High School District) the rumor was confirmed, a restructuring plan for MVM was approved. Or as one person observed, “they legally stole an asset belonging to a poor community for their own purposes.”

This is modern American school reform and truthfully speaking, no one knows what is really motivating the Sweetwater School Board. Oddly, Thomas J. Winters, the current principal of MVM, a man with only one year of experience as a principle was tasked with making the decision about which restructuring plan to select. He chose from available alternatives specified in education law “close the school and reopen it as a focus or theme schools [sic] with new staff or staff skilled in the focus area.” (1) So, a high quality staff, which in most cases had spent more than a decade providing heroic service to one of San Diego counties poorest neighborhoods, was to be relieved of their positions. They were guilty of working in a poor neighborhood! The enormity of cynical school reform for profit and self-promotion is beyond injustice.

The Elementary and Secondary Education ACT of 1965 as amended in 2002, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) specifies that schools which fail to achieve Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for five years shall be punished and mandates a menu of remedies. MVM had failed to reach AYP from the very inception of this law bringing it the dubious record of being labeled a failure by the federal government for ten straight years. Many local residents, especially those with no direct involvement with the school, believed what they were repeatedly hearing about this “failing school” – “the problem is bad teachers unwilling to change.” Even teachers from across town who do not work with students of poverty or significant numbers of language learners suspected there must be something wrong with the MVM staff.

I worked at MVM in school year 2004-2005. It was clear to me that as motivated and competent as the staff was they were going fail unless this obviously flawed law (NCLB) was modified. Schools in communities with high poverty rates were set up for failure by this ill-conceived federal takeover of education. How is it possible to convince people that MVM is a wonderful highly effective educational institution, when a federal law is written that makes even significant growth in performance look like failure? Was disaggregation an evil plot or just bad law with unintended consequences? I don’t know, but I do know that MVM is actually a very successful school and is a significant community asset. In a just world the staff and school would have been lauded for both their efforts and achievements. These valiant educators should have been lionized as an example of what can be accomplished when selfless teachers work to fructify the weal. Instead they have been vitiated!

My personal reasoned conclusion solidified by practical experience is that standardized testing is odious. It clearly narrows curriculum and promotes soporific lessons that develop mimesis not creativity or the ability to think. That said: these same horrible tests show that the staff at MVM got the message. The teachers saw that the school’s survival depended on effectively teaching to the tests. The baseline year for NCLB testing was 2002 in which math and English are the only two categories that matter. The arbitrary level for passing was set at 16% of math students scoring proficient or better and 13.6% of English students scoring proficient or better. In 2012, AYP pass rates entered the hockey stick portion of the law (the period when pass rates go up precipitously to reach a whimsical 100% proficient or advanced by 2014). The 2012 AYP pass rates were set at 79% proficient or better for math and 78.4% proficient or better for English. The 2012 targets are so unrealistic that even Obama’s Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, was predicting an 82% failure rate. (2) Nevertheless, they are still being effectively utilized by questionable actors to declare schools like MVM failures and take control of them away from the local community.

From 2002 thru 2011, the overall school scores at MVM always exceeded the AYP targets. In 2011, 51% of the eight graders at MVM took Algebra with 40% scoring proficient and 44% scoring advanced on the California Star Tests (CST). The 44% advanced was the highest percentage of advanced algebra scores in the district. That year the algebra students at MVM outscored even the schools whose students were from the wealthiest families in the district. The MVM scores were amongst the top Algebra scores posted in California that year (2011). Plus, almost 50% of English language students scored advanced or proficient. This great achievement was not acknowledged! Two sub-groups did not meet AYP so MVM continued being labeled a failing school. The scores of English language learners and students with disabilities, kept MVM from achieving AYP success. Amongst English language learners only 31.8% achieved scores of proficient or advanced in English and amongst disabled students only 31.6% scored proficient or advanced in math. Both failing categories showed a huge improvement from the 2002 levels of 0% proficient or advanced in either category, but that was not good enough.

In an open letter from “Concerned and Offended Staff” to Principal Winters it stated, “Please remember that it was not the teachers at this school who have dismantled the great programs that our parents are missing. It was not the teachers who have dismantled the award winning ASAP program and raided its grant money for general use, this was done by school and district administrators.  It was not the teachers who dismantled the NOVA team of which parents spoke so highly, this was done by school site administrators. It was not teachers who ended the award winning music program that Fred Lee built and is remembered so fondly by parents and students.”(3) The music program was truly magnificent. The jazz band was consistently judged as best middle school jazz band in California. The ASAP program was a daily 3:30 PM until 6:30 PM after school program that provided tutoring and club activities. Maria Catalina, who is a NASA affiliated science teacher, had an astronomy club. Guadalupe Trejo a motivated and talented bilingual science teacher had a robotics club and Justin Ezell sponsored the Huck Fin club. The highly talented Gugenia Gurrola was working with language learners on mathematics and of course Cathy Stutzman had the most amazing tutoring sessions I have ever seen going on in her math classroom. The NOVA team was an honors program that offered enrichment for higher performing students. Unfortunately, the economic downturn of 2008 and administrative decisions led to defunding these popular and successful MVM initiatives. When the state loosened restrictions on where money could be spent, the district defunded these programs and shifted the funds to other schools to help them achieve AYP success.

Today, music teacher Fred Lee, who was pressured into leaving MVM if he wanted to continue teaching music, still works for the district in an upper-class neighborhood weaving his magic at Rancho Del Rey Middle School. In 2006-2007, MVM received a Golden Bell for its outstanding reading program which promoted recreational reading at home by providing reading strategies to both students and their parents. (4) The San Diego Union reports, “The Golden Bell Awards, now in their 33rd year, promote excellence in education in 18 categories. The awards single out programs — developed by California teachers and administrators — for innovation, sustainability, making a difference for all students, and a commitment to meeting the needs of all students.” (5) At one time, programs like this along with Mr. Lee’s music program and the NOVA team enticed many parents to send their students to MVM even though the school was labeled a failure by first the Bush administration and then the Obama administration.

In general, schools in poor neighborhoods are set up for failure under NCLB. Schools in poor neighborhoods with large percentages of language learners and disabled students have no chance to succeed. MVM was facing a demographic impossibility.

Year      Percent Disabled       Percent ELL (a)   Percent SE (b)    Percent Hispanic

2002-2003          11%                        28%                    64%                       62%

2006-2007          12%                        30%                    64%                       69%

2011-2012            13%                        44%                    76%                       75%

a-English language learners     b- Social and economically deprived (6)

It is important to note that about two-thirds of the disabled student and language learners are also socio-economically deprived. AYP accountability rules mandate that a student is not just in one category but their scores normally count in multiple categories. A failure in any one category means failing AYP. At MVM, Socio-economically deprived students are about three-fourths of both the disabled and language learners’ categories. In all, MVM had to pass 25 AYP specified categories but just two categories were the root of the failing scores for 10 years. The NCLB rules of disaggregation were originally written to protect minority students from being hidden within the statistics, but ironically those rules became a major vehicle by which poor communities have their schools closed or appropriated by private entities.

The category of language learners is particularly insidious for MVM. In neighboring Tijuana, it is common for students who have been kicked out of school to move in with a relative in San Diego to attend school. Often, these are particularly difficult children who do not perform well. Schools are also punished for doing their job too well. If a student develops strong language skills, they are reclassified and no longer counted amongst the language learners’ category. It is a genuine “Catch-22.” MVM was facing a triple whammy, high poverty rates, a high percentage of disabled students and almost half of the students were language learners. Still this school was producing high levels of achievement. Three students from MVM’s era of “failure” have won Gates Millennium scholarships; several have gone on to The US Naval Academy and many others are attending top ranked schools throughout the US including the Ivy League. Only hubris and pecuniary desire explains not protecting and cultivating this venerable institution.

In the year I was at MVM, I got to know Cathy Stutzman among others. I remember being stunned when I walked into her classroom and saw two overhead projectors going and Cathy moving between them continuing to push the tempo and teach Algebra. Moreover, every student in the room was totally engaged trying to keep up with this high energy educator. I asked Cathy, how MVM was able to achieve such amazing test results in the 2011 Algebra CST testing. Two years prior to that, I had asked another math teacher at MVM, Randolph Arciniega, who I admired and looked to as a teacher mentor, “what is new at MVM?” He briefly described how they were following Cathy’s lead because she was showing some amazing results. Cathy said she perceived that students at MVM were behind when they came to the school and also needed more introductions with Algebra concepts in seventh grade to succeed in Algebra testing the following year. She felt the lessons needed some spiraling. Cathy convinced the administration to let her loop classes and teach all seventh grade classes one year and then move with them to eighth grade in the subsequent year. She also persuaded the principal to let her add several algebra concepts to the seventh grade curriculum. By 2009, all of the math teachers at MVM were looping and teaching Cathy’s modified curriculum in seventh grade.

The amazing 2011 results occurred in the last year that MVM looped math classes. The new principal, Thomas J. Winters, who was a brand new principal as were his predecessors at MVM, stopped the looping curriculum. That decision led to a significant drop in test scores. Maybe this is some of what the “Concerned and Offended Staff” were alluding to when they wrote, “You have stated in the past that there is “no bad data” but you have proved yourself wrong by providing the DSLT [District Site Leadership Team] with only partial and biased data regarding the efforts and accomplishments of the staff of Mar Vista Middle School. We have heard from teachers who were part of the DSLT who have stated that you purposely guided the DSLT to the conclusion that it is the teachers that are keeping Mar Vista Middle School from succeeding while ignoring other important factors.” (7)

Bush’s NCLB and Obama’s Race to the Top (RTTT) both stress test based accountability which has lead to jejune pedagogy. The best charter schools practice problem and project based education principles which were widely spread in public schools before these two pernicious laws were enacted. The federal government has taken more and more control of schools away from local communities and instituted rules that undermine public education. In our discussion, Cathy told me, “I felt we were fighting for survival and that testing was all that mattered. I could no longer employ project based methods. I had to focus on scoring well on tests.” Near the turn of the millennium, Cathy was able through a grant to purchase a class set of graphing calculators which besides the typical uses she also employed in a mathematics art project. The students had to create a piece of art by transferring graphs of ten different functions onto paper. When the art pieces were completed they were mounted and displayed in the school’s cafeteria. She relates the story of how one of her poorer students – almost all D’s and F’s – made a really colorful and beautiful graphing creation. When Cathy looked at it she praised the student but told her that “unfortunately it is not complete because you did not list the functions on the back.” The girl said, “That’s alright – I remember them.” The girl immediately sat down and listed all ten functions perfectly from memory. Federal accountability rules now effectively ban public schools from offering this kind of engaging pedagogy.

I believe Principal Winters came to MVM intending to succeed at his first assignment as a principal. Still, it does seem eerie how perfectly the demise of MVM fits the profile of schools being closed or taken over across the nation. It is in a poor community with a large minority population and the level of professionalism amongst the teaching staff is high. In fact, under the reporting mandates of NCLB, Principal Winters reported that 100% of the teaching staff at MVM is rated as highly qualified – meaning they all have a college degree in the field that they teach, plus they each have more than a year of teacher education training. As recently as January 24, 2013 Principal Winters officially reported, “Students at Mar Vista Middle School and in the Sweetwater Union High School District are expected to master state and district standards which will prepare them to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Mar Vista Middle School provides a safe and secure learning environment that contributes to students’ academic success.” (8) Either the latest school accountability report card is misleading or the reasons for closing MVM are fabrications. MVM is a great school with a great staff, but like schools in poor and minority neighborhoods across the country the parents have modest political capital. Schools like MVM are vulnerable to modern “Carpetbaggers.” I believe that is the true reason underlying the unwarranted demise of MVM and hundreds or possibly thousands of MVM’s across this country.

(1) http://boarddocs.suhsd.k12.ca.us/Board.nsf/Public – 3/11/2012 – Superintendents Agenda Item 6.

(2) http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/education/story/2011-12-15/schools-federal-standards/51949126/1

(3) Unpublished letter to Principal Winters, February 2013

(4) MVM School Accountability Report Card 2009 http://research-evaluation.sweetwaterschools.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/84/files/2012/10/SARC2009_MVM_Short.pdf

(5) http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/dec/03/seven-local-districts-among-golden-bell-award/

(6) MVM School Accountability Report Card 2009 http://research-evaluation.sweetwaterschools.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/84/files/2012/10/SARC2009_MVM_Short.pdf

(7) Unpublished letter to Principal Winters, February 2013

(8) http://research-evaluation.sweetwaterschools.org/sarcs/ – 2012-2013 SARC Mar Vista Middle School.

Faux Education Reform or Improved Education (Both are NOT Possible!)

22 Nov

Two years ago, I had the opportunity to share my thoughts about education policy with Congresswomen, Susan Davis (Democrat CA-53). Like many high government office holders, Davis got her start in the 1980’s as a member of the local school board. I immediately launched into my heartfelt belief that standardized testing was destroying public education and leading to the privatizing of public schools. She almost immediately asked me what I find a peculiar and telling question, “How are we going to monitor schools without testing?” This question implies that standards and standardized testing do indeed present a way of evaluating quality of teaching or schools. They do not. It also implies that monitoring schools is the job of the federal government. It is not. And for someone that had almost a decade working with schools not to know what a good job accrediting organizations do monitoring and guiding schools is significant. It demonstrates why it is so important to promote professionalism in the operation of our schools. Politicians and rich businesspeople are not well enough informed about the intricacies and variables involved in education to run schools and dictate policy. We respect the opinions of professionals in other arts such as the medical field when we make policy because they are experts in a complicated field, likewise we should respect professionalism in education because it is an even more complicated field. The bottom line is that since the passage of NCLB the education of children in how to think has atrophied. Like Diane Ravitch prophesized, “And so we may find that we obtained a paradoxical and terrible outcome: higher test scores and worse education.”1 Higher test scores because we made that the ultimate goal of our pedagogy and worse education because children are taught discrete pieces of information to recite but get no practice in using that information to reason and create.

While writing about how standardized testing and mechanical literacy are undermining the experience in school, Francis Lucerna, the co-founder of La Puente, observed, “This is not by accident; there is a reason this is happening and why it’s happening in public schools and not in private schools and other places. This is the education for followers, not for leaders.”2 In other words this type of education reform is the kind of class based reform that John Dewey warned against in 1916, “His own purpose will direct his actions. Otherwise, his seeming attention, his docility, his memorizing and reproductions will partake of intellectual servility. Such a condition of intellectual subjugation is needed for fitting the masses into a society where the many are not expected to have aims or ideas of their own, but to take orders from the few set in authority. It is not adapted to a society which intends to be democratic.”3 In a similar vein, Daisaku Ikeda, the founder of the constructivist oriented Soka Education system states, “Learning that has forgotten creativity is a servant of authority. If learning is to serve people, it must continue to create value.”4 For more than a century great education philosophers have warned us about how standards based and behaviorist education vitiates pedagogy; yet here we are in the second decade of the 21st century bringing this kind of injury to the public education system.

How did we get here? Recently I read a book by the renowned educator; cognitive and computer scientist, Roger Schank called Teaching Minds. In a discussion of scripts he writes, “Scripts tell us what will happen next in the aspects of the world that repeat frequently. Anyone who goes to a restaurant knows that when you order food, someone will bring it to you and later you will be expected to pay for it. … People who have scripts often generalize them so that in their own mind they are experts on things they have never experienced. This is what stupid looks like.”5 This seems to be a real cogent explanation of modern education reform led by the likes of Bill Gates, Eli Broad, Arne Duncan and the endless list of education reformers with no personal experience either studying or practicing education yet they went to school so they think they are experts. Mike Petrilli of the Fordham Institute wrote about the Race to the Top (RttT) reforms brought to us by the non-educator education reformers that joined the Obama administration from the NewSchools Venture Fund. He observed that they have “published a list of 19 of its best ideas, few of which are truly ‘evidence-based,’ regardless of what President Obama says, and told states to adopt as many of them as possible if they want to get the money. It’s as if a bunch of do-gooders sat together at the NewSchools Venture Fund summit and brainstormed a list of popular reform ideas, and are now going to force them upon the states. (Wait, I think that is how this list got developed.)”6

Almost One hundred years ago John Dewey wrote Democracy and Education, in which he made many cogent and insightful statements about education. Here are a few:

(Page 46) “Why it is that teaching by pouring in and learning by passive absorption, are universally condemned, that they are still so entrenched in practice? That education is not an affair of ‘telling’ and being told, but an active and constructive process, is a principle almost as generally violated in practice as conceded in theory.”

(Page 122) “An aim must, then, be flexible; it must be capable of alteration to meet circumstances. An end established externally to the process of action is always rigid. Being inserted or imposed from without, it is not supposed to have a working relationship to the concrete conditions of the situation.”

(Page 158) “Translated into details, it means the act of learning or studying is artificial and ineffective in the degree in which pupils are merely presented with a lesson to be learned.”

(Page 177) “While all thinking results in knowledge, ultimately the value of knowledge is subordinate to its use in thinking.”

(Page 203) “Imposing an alleged uniform general method upon everybody breeds mediocrity in all but the very exceptional.”

(Page 207) “Were all instructors to realize that the quality of mental process, not the production of correct answers, is the measure of educative growth something hardly less that a revolution in teaching would be worked.”

(Page 303) “Narrow modes of skill cannot be made useful beyond themselves; any mode of skill which is achieved with deepening of knowledge and perfecting of judgment is readily put to use in new situations and is under personal control.”

(Page 417) “Discipline, culture, social efficiency, personal refinement, improvement of character are but phases of the growth of capacity nobly to share in such a balanced experience. And education is not a mere means to such a life. Education is such a life. To maintain capacity for such education is the essence of morals. For conscious life is a continual beginning afresh.”7

John Dewey may have been America’s greatest thinker about teaching and learning and yet our modern reformers completely ignore him. I suspect many of them have never actually studied education philosophy and many others of them have other motives that have little to do with improving public education. Dewey is hardly the only person to have these same observations about good pedagogy. Roger Shank humorously made the point by stating, “Math and science are not important subjects. There, I said it. Start the lynching. One can live a happy life without ever having taken a physics course or knowing what a logarithm is. … But being able to reason on the basis of evidence is important.”8 Tsunesaburo Makiguchi the insightful Japanese philosopher-educator was fighting against an education philosophy based on producing subjects for the emperor at the same time that John Dewey was fighting against a behaviorist philosophy of education in the United States. Makiguchi wrote, “In-school education should be closely connected in practice with actual social life so that it can transform unconscious living into fully conscious participation in the life of society. Education integrated into the life of society will yield benefits of well-planned living, without the undesirable effect of mechanical uniformity an inherent danger in standardized education.”9

The Swiss psychologists, Jean Piaget called Dewey’s discovery-based approach to education “constructivism.” Piaget believed that “children play an active role in making sense of things, ‘constructing’ reality rather than just acquiring knowledge.” The philosophy of “constructivism” is a move away from the educational philosophies of behaviorism and social conservatism advocated by men like B. F. Skinner and Edward K. Thorndike. Howard Gardner, the creator of the theory of multiple intelligences, writes, “Piaget’s account of the passage from sensori-motor actions to concrete to formal operations is the best worked-out trajectory of growth in all of developmental psychology.”10 In addition to Piaget’s work, the Russian developmental psychologist, Lev Vygotsky, observed that children have a “zone of proximal development.” “Vygotsky and other educational professionals believed education’s role was to give children experiences that were within their zones of proximal development, thereby encouraging and advancing their individual learning.”11 This approach to “constructivism” has lead to the idea of scaffolding. The teacher identifies the student’s needs and helps them through the zone of proximal development by questioning or other means until the student not longer needs the aide for constructing understanding. These brilliant insights into how people develop and learn are completely vitiated by standards based education and high stakes testing.

For the past thirty years, educators have been making pilgrimages to the Italian town of Reggio Emilia to observe what may be the best preschool education in the world. The traveling exhibit, “The 100 Languages of Children” was startling to educators in 1991 when it came to the United States and they saw the amazing work of these 4 and 5 year-old students. The heart, soul and educational theorist for the Reggio schools was a remarkable educator name Loris Malaguzzi, a confirmed constructivist. He once stated, “No, our schools have not had, nor do they have, a planned curriculum with units and subunits (lesson plans) as the behaviorists would like. These would push our school toward teaching without learning; we would humiliate the schools and the children by entrusting them to forms, dittos, and handbooks of which publishers are generous distributors.”12 He did not mean there was no planning and reflection but that the Reggio educators were constantly ready to modify their plans depending on how the students engaged. Unfortunately, Reggio Emilia is one of the few places in the world where constructivist education is practiced. Ellen Lagemann, an education historian, writes, “One cannot understand the history of education in the United States during the twentieth century unless one realizes that Edward K. Thorndike won and John Dewey lost.”13 The same general situation in education appears to exist throughout the world.

I conclude after reviewing the observations about how people learn from the best educational minds on four continents that modern education reform in the United States is based on bad philosophy. The KIPP schools which Bill Gates holds up as a model for how education should be done are very behaviorist in their education orientation. Eli Broad completely defies reason when he promotes non-educators with business backgrounds as the best people to hire as education leaders. The Broad approach appears to institutionalize “what stupidity looks like.”  Barak Obama hires a non-educator as the top educator in the country. Together, they promulgate policies that undermine professionalism in education, lionize high stakes testing and make the future of public education vulnerable. As for Congressman Davis’s concern about monitoring schools, there are wonderful professionally based organizations that have been monitoring schools for decades. For example, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) does a great job of looking deeply into the operation and professionalism of schools in the western United States. WASC sends a team of educators from a different region into a school for a weeklong visit in which they review curriculum, school site plans, community involvement and visit many classrooms in progress. These teams are normally lead by a current school principal and are made up of current teachers who all know exactly what a well run school should look like and based on the evidence they gather give the schools valuable feedback. Schools that fail these inspections truly are failures and face the possibility of losing accreditation. If legislators think they need more, then the answer is to add resources to these accrediting agencies that make informed judgments about schools. Standardized testing is an unreliable methodology for evaluating teaching or schools and fuels the impulse toward behaviorism. The one consistent finding about the results of standardized testing is they are most influenced by the financial condition of the neighborhood. Using this unreliable method for evaluating teachers and schools is foolhardy and has lead to great schools being closed and great teachers being unjustly labeled failures.

As the new millennium started, I decided to leave my position as a researcher in Silicon Valley to become an educator. I sought a master’s degree in education at University of California San Diego (UCSD) where I met two amazing educators and thinkers; Professor of Sociology, Hugh ‘Bud’ Mehan and Professor of Mathematics, Guershon Harel.  From Dr. Mehan, the founder of the Pruess School, I learned about the history, politics and theory of effective education. From Dr. Harel, the founder of the Algebraic Thinking Institute, I learned about his amazing theory of education, Duality, Necessity, and Repeated Reasoning (DNR). Dr. Harel taught us about the subtle difference between the ways of thinking and ways of understanding. He presented us with evidence showing that poor teaching methods hurt students’ abilities to understand and their desires to learn. In 2001, all of us in my cadre at UCSD were thrilled to be studying with these great educators and with the idea that we could bring this kind of pedagogy to public schools. But, in 2002, the federal government mandated behaviorism through requiring standards and testing. In the past 10 years, this benighted reform has led to more and more money leaving the classroom to commercial pockets and to schools becoming a more and more onerous places. Now we have Common Core State Standards (CCSS) which are accelerating money out of the classroom to consultants and testing companies and undermining professionalism in education. This week I am presenting a lesson and an assessment on quadratic functions developed by a corporation hired to help us prepare for CCSS. The lesson is not bad but not really remarkable for anything other than more money left my classroom of 40 math students to pay for it. This kind of reform is faux reform which is worse than no reform. We can survive a budget crisis but bad philosophy of education is deeply destructive. Let us have real reform led by professional educators or faux reform led by businessmen and politicians will continue to engender ever degenerating education in America!

1. Ravitch, Diane. The Death and Life of the Great American School System. New York: Basic Books, 2010. Page 219.

2. Kohl, Herbert and Tom Oppenheim, ed. The Muses Go to School. New York: The New Press. 2012. Page 58

3. Dewey, John. Democracy and Education. New York: Macmillan, 1916. Page 356.

4. Ikeda, Daisaku, The New Human Revolution Volume 15. Santa Monica, California: The World Tribune Press. 2008. (Page 189)

5. Shank, Roger. Teaching Minds. New York: Teachers College Press. 2011. Page 101.

6. Petrilli, Michael. “The Race to the Top: The Carrot That Feels Like a Stick,” Flypaper blog, July 23, 2009. http://www.educationgadfly.net/flypaper/2009/07/the-race-to-the-top-the-carrot-that-feels-like-a-stick/

7. Dewey, John. Democracy and Education. New York: Macmillan, 1916.

8. Shank, Roger. Teaching Minds. New York: Teachers College Press. 2011. Page 83.

9. Ikeda, Daisaku. Soka Education. Santa Monica, California: Middleway Press. 2001 Page 18

10. Garner, Howard. Frames of Mind. New York: Basic Books. 1993. (Page 133)

11. Berk, L and Winsler, A. (1995). “Vygotsky: His life and works” and “Vygotsky’s approach to development”. In Scaffolding children’s learning: Vygotsky and early childhood learning. Natl. Assoc for Educ. Of Young Children. p. 24

12. Edwards, Caroline, Gandini Lella and George Forman, ed. The Hundred Languages of Children 2nd Edition. Westport, Connecticut:, Ablex Publishing, 1998

13. Kohn, Alfie. The Schools Our Children Deserve. Boston – New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1999. Page 7.