Dangerously Irrelevant Blogger Scott McLeod is writing a series of posts under the theme “Beware of Educational Consultants”. Featured in this series on consultants about whom districts should be cautious is Ruby Payne, infamous consultant on the educational needs of poor children. His post nicely summarizes some of the published criticism of Payne’s work.
McLeod asks, reasonably:
First, should districts be spending their monies on a consultant whose work has been accused of being riddled with hundreds of unproven assertions? … Are most districts that hire Dr. Payne aware of the criticisms that have been leveled against her work? And, third, even if so, should districts’ professional development work involve a consultant/speaker that’s this controversial, no matter how famous or widespread her message is?
Don’t miss Scott’s inclusion of a You Tube critique of Payne posted by a 14 year old reader. If a 14 year old gets it, why don’t more district staff development offices?
And don’t miss the comments.
(And I’m honestly ready to move on from the “people who criticize Payne’s work are just Ivory Tower Academics living without any clue about what really goes on in schools for poor kids” rebuttals. Honestly, don’t you folks have anything better than unfounded personal criticism to answer the research? For the record, I’ve taught in rural southern Appalachia, in the urban south, in the working class Midwest and I was appalled by what I saw in my very first skim through Payne’s book because it was so clearly poorly researched. )