What Race are We Willing to Run?

Federal policy mandates as well as ed reform “pop culture” are quickly changing the educational landscape. What is the ultimate goal for the programs being pushed by these agendas? I have a few thoughts…..We let the Trojan horse in with NCLB. It was designed to erode confidence in our public education system. It has worked to that end wonderfully. It has also tricked our institutions in to the trap of chasing AYP by spending more time teaching to a broad but very shallow set of standards. We schedule the real learning for when the test has been taken. It is no wonder that people have lost confidence in public Ed. Today’s reform movement is just a different angle on the same principles, and the Obama Administration’s NCLB waivers and Race to The Top are just a magnification of past failed policy.  Its proponents aim to criticize schools and make them the scapegoat for all the societal problems the politicians can’t fix to get re-elected. They espouse expensive solutions so that there is lots of taxpayer money available for special interests to make a profit from the policy. What can we do about it? We must demonstrate our passion to the public. We must allow our students to pursue their passion and in turn make our school shine. Schools need to embrace the new world of learning that is available via changes in communication and adjust pedagogy to accommodate it. School leaders must energize their school communities to be involved in their school so that ownership of the local school builds confidence and pride in the jobs that are being done well. We as educators must fight the negativism at every chance and take the fight to those whose agenda is political or profit based. Most of us are products of the public education system. It helped make us what we are. We owe it this debt to fight to make it better and stronger and to continue the great American tradition of a public education system.


Photo Courtesy of the Burwash Calligrapher’s photostream on Flickr




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