The PFT article explains how our educrats ignored the results of PFT because they did not comport with their favorable, though ineffective, teaching methods. The results were an embarrassment to educrats:
At first, the response to PFT was to attack the research project and DI:
Nobody was more surprised than the constructivist curriculum authors when PFT demonstrated two things.
First, the basic-skills-oriented DI far outperformed both the control groups and the other models.
Second, the five constructivist-style curricula actually reduced school performance in districts that were already among the lowest performers nationwide.
DI even outperformed the constructivist models in areas in which they were supposed to excel.
Three tests of success were employed: academic (students' ability to answer questions correctly), cognitive (students' ability to reason for themselves), and affective (students' feelings about themselves).
With names like Cognitive Curriculum and Self-Esteem, the constructivist curricula were supposed to boost higher-order thinking and self-opinion.
According to PFT, they actually reduced both.
The purpose of these attacks was to prevent a mutiny among the constructivist academics running most university education departments, and to retain control of the purse strings at foundations and in the federal government.Of course, subsequent research has confirmed the PFT results. SO the educrats changed their tactic to ignoring the elephant in the room.
Since school districts are generally free to pick whatever curriculum they want, here is how the system works:
After the initial barrage of attacks, the constructivists adopted a new strategy regarding PFT: silence. The best news about failure is no news and, unlike their curricula, the constructivists' political strategy works.
You can gauge the success of the campaign of silence for yourself: Ask any teacher or administrator you know about Project Follow Through, the world's largest education research project, and you'll most likely get a blank stare.
The author, like Ryan from Edspresso, is more optimistic than rightwingprof, but I don't think anyone disagrees that the vested interests of the edublob, unions, ed schools, politicians and their minions make for a formidable barrier standing in the way of decent publicly susidized education.
This is convenient for constructivist curriculum authors, who are generally also professors at influential teachers' colleges. Constructivist orthodoxy is so dominant today it is almost impossible to get a teaching degree at most schools without openly subscribing to it.
Each year, teachers' colleges crank out thousands of teachers and administrators determined to stamp out successful non-constructivist programs, such as DI, in an effort to ensure the continued flow of billions of dollars of grant money and curriculum sales into programs that are proven failures.
PFT's enduring lesson is that the American people, even acting through the federal government, are powerless against the entrenched interests of the education monopoly. Despite our intent to wage a "war on poverty," we have for decades unwittingly financed the engineers of our own defeat.