I have been so excited over the past six months to have found so many educators who believe many of the same things that I do. It is heartening to know that there are many that agree education needs to change dramatically! The system needs to move away from the early 20th Century model where information was king and student compliance was essential, to a model where technology is ubiquitous, the information is simply the stuff we work with and the methodology is student centered. After listening to Jeff Jarvis at TEDxNYED, I am convinced that many schools are about to go the way of the newspaper! So why do I title this blog “Educational Dissonance and the Echo Chamber” you ask? The dissonance I feel is coming from the direction of national education policy (primarily NCLB and RttT) that stresses student achievement as measured by high stakes, once a year testing, which emphasizes information and keeps it the focus of the schooling of our children. Schooling is much different than educating. Information is important, but the emphasis should be more about using information to evaluate, collaborate, and create! Those skills and events are much harder to assess and compile, yet if we do not attempt to move past what we have been doing for the past half century our fate will be irrelevance! Firing entire staffs in hard to staff poor urban schools is not the answer. Teaching to a one time high stakes test is not the answer! Are there things that need to change? YES! But devaluing and demoralizing the educators is not the way to bring about change! So, where does the echo chamber come in? Part of it comes from me and my statements about the need for change without enough action to satisfy the needs. Partially from the folks who say “what we do now is o.k. It has worked for years, who says it is broke.” Finally it comes in part from the constant chatter about change and the relatively (at least in my perception) little action I have observed in the schools I am aware of. There are pockets of progressive change, but the world is changing so fast and we are not keeping up. What will happen if we simply sit back and wait to see what happens? I don’t want to find out, how about you?