Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How to Fix Education Part Two: Education Reform

So, I posted How To Fix Education a few weeks ago. It was revolutionary (if you didn't read that with the appropriate amount of sarcasm, please read it again with much more because I underlined, italicized, and bolded).

Today on the Iowa Educator Voxer group Aaron Mauer (@coffeechugbooks) posed the following question:

"What is the biggest myth in education?"

It took me a while to decide which of the innumerable possibilities could be counted as the biggest myth, but, when I came right down to it, I felt that the biggest myth must be in how to fix that education.

My submission is the following: The biggest myth in education is that it's reform will be legislated.    

Now, as soon as I submitted this to the Voxer group, I realized that was all of it. I, and I think I can say we, know that true education reform will never be legislated. It's too general and motivated by the wrong things.

Think of these legislations (source I'll post the full site at the bottom of the post. At times, I am quoting.):

1954: Brown v. Board of Education. This legislation told schools they had to treat all of the students in their school the same.

1965: The Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This act provided federal funds for poor children in American schools.

1968: The Corner Process. Packaged as a comprehensive school reform strategy. This initiative mobilized a "community of adult caretakers to support students' holistic development to bring academic success."

1980: The DOE was created.

1981: The Commission on Excellence in Education was created. This commission was created to "examine the quality of education in the US....due to the widespread public perception that something was seriously remiss in our educational system." ...hmmm.

1983: A Nation at Risk was written warning of a "rising tide of mediocrity" that "threatens our very future as a nation."

1987: "Career Readiness" makes its debut!

1988: Minnesota passes public school choice laws.

1989: The idea of national education goals emerge.

(Mr. Barner, this list is getting kind of long.) I know. That's the point.

1990: The National Education Goals were created and adopted. These goals included things like "all children will start school ready to learn" and "Teacher will have the knowledge and skills that they need."

1992: The first charter school opened.

1993: The "Success for All" initiative for pre-kindergarten through 6th grade was developed.

1994: Goals 200: Educate America Act is signed by President Clinton supporting states to develop standards for what every child should learn and achieve.

1996: National Education Summit number two. 41 Governors pledged their support to develop academic standards at the state and local level.

(Hold on folks. We are getting there.)

1997: In President Clinton's state of the union, he challenges schools to adopt national standards and test 4th and 8th graders.

2002: NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND...enough said.

(Mr. Barner, you are about 13 years short) I know, but I'm tired.

Shall I give limited detail on the increase of advanced placement courses, norm referenced tests, student centered classrooms, data driven education, a potpourri of standardized tests posing as cute acronyms, RTI, RTTT, TLC, PAARC, Next Generation Assessments, 21st century skills, #futureready, Smarter Balance and a group I recently (and fictitiously) saw today: the National Association of School Teachers of Youth...check the acronym for that one. Check out the wonderful Ned Talk (no, it's not Ted Talk) here.

My question, teacher, is what has all of this done? Anything?
I ask this, administrator, what has all of this done? Anything?
I ask you, parent, what has all of this told you? Anything?
I ask you, student, what does all of this testing and requirement mean to you? Anything?

One of my teacher friends in the Iowa Educator Voxer group said the following:

"Anything that comes furthest from the classroom will have the least impact on the classroom."

The reform we need is in the minds of those being educated.
The reform we need will come from the classroom not outside of it.

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged,

Dane Barner

Timeline source:

1 comment:

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