Monday, January 3, 2011

Musings on education reform

I was just drinking a nice cup of coffee and relaxing during lunch when I had some thoughts about education reform.

1. Are US schools really as bad as people say? Or is the fact that we only evaluate schools based on tests the real problem? Are the tests even valid?
2. To make real, effective and productive changes to education, we need to involve educators, as well as students and parents. Today it seems that most education reform is being pushed by politicians and rich people who have never been in a public school and never taught. Would we allow non-doctors to dictate patient care (oh wait, politicians are in a way with health care "reform" which is as bad as the education "reform" they are pushing for.
3. There are plenty of best practices already available at hundreds, if not thousands, of schools in the US. Why don't we just look to them for ideas?
4. We also have to realize that one size does NOT fit all for education. Differentiation and teacher choice to modify things are extremely important to making students successful in school.
5. Not every student should go to college. Many students are better suited to trade schools and other types of job training. We should make sure every student is prepared to succeed in college, other advanced classes, and work.
6. Let's make it collaborative and not adversarial. Teachers are not the enemy of education. We are the main resource and these education "reformers" have to realize that.

What are your thoughts on "education reform"?


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