GLOBALIZATION ON HITTING LEFT

Friday, September 16, 2011

Vito Perrone Sr., Who Fought Standardized Tests, Dies at 78

Harvard Public Affairs & Communications Office
Vito Perrone Sr., in 1997 with students at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he taught. He advocated for flexible teaching methods that did not rely on standardized testing.
I met Vito and became familiar with and inspired by his work after hearing him speak on a panel at the UIC Small Schools Workshop some 15 years ago. I looked forward every year since then to hearing him open up the annual North Dakota Study Group meeting out in Woodstock, IL. Vito died on Aug. 24 in Cambridge, Mass. He was 78.

Thanks to New York Times writer, Paul Vitello for this excellent piece on Vito Perrone's life and work..

Vitello writes:
Among those who considered Dr. Perrone an inspiration was Jonathan Kozol, the educator and writer whose 1967 book, “Death at an Early Age,” ignited nationwide public outrage over classroom conditions in one of Boston’s poorest neighborhoods. Another adherent was Deborah Meier, a MacArthur “genius” grant winner who founded the progressive East Park Secondary School in East Harlem and led the Mission Hill School in Boston.
In an interview on Wednesday, Mr. Kozol said Dr. Perrone’s influence could be seen in the mounting opposition to the No Child Left Behind law, which has fueled widespread school standardization since it was signed by President George W. Bush in 2002. 

“Deborah Meier and I heard it over and over again at the march on Washington last summer,” Mr. Kozol said, referring to the July “Save Our Schools” demonstration that drew about 5,000 teachers from around the country to demand increased financing for public schools and limits on standardized tests. “They were saying, ‘Where are the deans of education who will stand up for public education the way Vito Perrone did?’ ”.

Among those who considered Dr. Perrone an inspiration was Jonathan Kozol, the educator and writer whose 1967 book, “Death at an Early Age,” ignited nationwide public outrage over classroom conditions in one of Boston’s poorest neighborhoods. Another adherent was Deborah Meier, a MacArthur “genius” grant winner who founded the progressive East Park Secondary School in East Harlem and led the Mission Hill School in Boston.

In an interview on Wednesday, Mr. Kozol said Dr. Perrone’s influence could be seen in the mounting opposition to the No Child Left Behind law, which has fueled widespread school standardization since it was signed by President George W. Bush in 2002.

“Deborah Meier and I heard it over and over again at the march on Washington last summer,” Mr. Kozol said, referring to the July “Save Our Schools” demonstration that drew about 5,000 teachers from around the country to demand increased financing for public schools and limits on standardized tests. “They were saying, ‘Where are the deans of education who will stand up for public education the way Vito Perrone did?’ ”

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