“Bracey Report” Curtain-Call Takes on Trendy Education Reforms

The Bracey Report on the Condition of Public Education, 2009 | Education and the Public Interest Center.

The report starts with this preface.

In Memoriam: Gerald Bracey 1940 – 2009
For 18 years, “The Bracey Report on the Condition of Public Education,” an annual review of education research and policy issues, was published by Phi Delta Kappan. In 2009, EPIC/EPRU was pleased to become its new publisher. Sadly, Gerald W. Bracey passed away before he finished editing what will be the final Bracey Report.

We have suffered a great loss. Although he was a social scientist of considerable talent he eschewed esoteric language and instead spoke and wrote plainly. His writings left strong impressions on readers, whether expert or layperson. When he judged that an official, a newspaper, or a scholar had played lightly with the truth, his expert knowledge was directed toward withering critiques. He fearlessly exposed the errors in fact, flaws in methods and illogic that were built into all too much education research and all too many education “reforms.” Jerry had little patience for received wisdom, no matter how powerful its purveyors.

Fortunately for us all, Jerry’s last report was sufficiently enough developed that it was possible for Susan Ohanian and Pat Hinchey to finish the necessary editorial work. Jerry’s wife, Iris, helped, too, by encouraging us to publish the final Bracey Report and by providing Jerry’s notes and reference material. As a result, the Report has been completed with fidelity to Jerry’s words and intentions. The Report is almost completely Jerry’s but, of course, any shortcomings are ours.

The Bracey Report on the Condition of Public Education, 2009 (PDF)

This year’s Bracey Report identifies and discusses the research support (vs. the popular support) for what the author considered to be three widely held assumptions about how to reform public education:

  1. High-quality schools can eliminate the achievement gap between whites and minorities.
  2. Mayoral control of public schools is an improvement over the more common elected board governance systems.
  3. Higher standards will improve the performance of public schools.

My posts about the untimely passing of Gerald Bracey are here:

Please read this report –The Bracey Report on the Condition of Public Education, 2009 (PDF)