Education schools, meanwhile, were exposing several generations of English teachers to the ideas of progressive theorists like Lisa Delpit and Paulo Freire, who argued that the best way to empower children and build literacy skills­especially for students from poor or racially marginalized households­was to assign them books featuring characters similar to themselves, and to encourage them to write freely about their own lives (see Peg Tyre’s “ The Writing Revolution,” also in this education report).
<Snip>
Another strand of education theory prioritizes getting kids reading rather than insisting they read high-quality books. Research by Sandra Stotsky at the University of Arkansas has found that the average American high-school student is most frequently assigned books at a middle-school reading level, and that the difficulty of assigned reading does not increase between ninth and 11th grade.
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/10/the-schoolmaster/309091/
There are other references for schools/colleges of education as a source of problem but they all are somewhat oblique.  Regarding their importance, however, blowing them up was not my idea.
.
It came from reading research expert and then US Department of Education's Assistant Secretary of Education Reid Lyon at a highly publicized panel discussion chaired by Secretary of Education Rod Paige:

    "You know, if there was any piece of legislation that I could pass, it would be to blow up the colleges of education."
November 18, 2002 - Forum on Rigorous Evidence - Transcript, P. 84-85
     The Key to Progress in Education? 
     Lessons from Medicine, Welfare and Other Fields
Wayne


At 09:42 PM 12/22/2012, Wayne Bishop wrote:
The Atlantic Monthly for October has a very interesting group of education articles entitled "Here's What's Working".  I have included a couple of representative excerpts but, generally speaking, they make good sense.  It does not mention by name "constructivism" but the idea is there; it does not work.  In summary, conduct real school and actually teach.  Horribly old-fashioned, I know, but it still is the open- faced "secret".

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/10/the-writing-revolution/309090/                Tyre
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/10/why-kids-should-grade-teachers/309088/       Ripley
"Teachers had thought it most important to care about kids, but what mattered more was having control over the classroom and making it a challenging place."

"Of the 36 items included in the Gates Foundation study, the five that most correlated with student learning were very straightforward:
1. Students in this class treat the teacher with respect.
2. My classmates behave the way my teacher wants them to.
3. Our class stays busy and doesn’t waste time.
4. In this class, we learn a lot almost every day.
5. In this class, we learn to correct our mistake"

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/10/the-homeschool-diaries/309089/                Elie
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/10/the-schoolmaster/309091/                       Goldstein
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/10/a-national-report-card/309087/                Allen

Wayne