The New York Times‘ article recently listed the educational background of the major players in the current ed reform movement. David Guggenheim, producer and director of the widely acclaimed and pro-charter school documentary Waiting for Superman went to Sidwell Friends School, the same one that President Obama’s daughters are attending, for example. Accountability advocate and […]
All this talk in education about poverty being the major reason for poor academic achievement and performance got me thinking: Is it really just poverty? No doubt it plays an important role. Researchers Hart & Risley’s well-cited longitudinal study in the early 1990s found that children in welfare families were exposed to substantially less language at […]
The majority of current education reform discussions have focused on teachers, as opposed to the teaching profession. What is the difference? By nature, reforms that focus on individuals such as teachers are reactionary and enact measures that tend to be punitive or denigrate the profession. Those that focus on the profession are measures that invest in, support, and build autonomy in teachers.
In a culture of education, the school, family, community, and government need to work cooperatively — one aspect working without the other three can only improve learning and education by so much. Currently, policymakers have been consumed with piecemeal efforts like teacher accountability, putting millions of dollars into research and systems that determine the teachers’ effectiveness on student achievement. No doubt the teaching profession need continual improvements, but not at the expense of developing students and family. The government will need to be a big part of that, but not in the way they have been currently operating.
There is strong consensus that poverty is at the root of America’s education problem — not teachers or public schools. Poverty in turn, affects a child’s learning and achievement, and subsequent opportunities in life. There needs to be a combination of solutions: one more broad-based, and one more education-focused.
With a spirited public discussion on education reform by politicians, educators, and the media reaching critical mass, it is somewhat comforting to witness such a concerted effort to solve America’s education problems. Such extensive attention to reform leads to a thought-provoking question: Why are we in this mess?
There has always been a perennially narrow focus on education reform. Currently, the public debate has concentrated on two things: teachers and charter schools, but these debates are misguided.
The latest results of PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) merely confirm what pundits are saying about the burgeoning global dominance of China. Is the US ready to confront this reality?
While China and India are moving assertively towards global superpower status, the U.S., with its feckless partisan bickering, seems to be mired in political and economic stagnation. Other governments are showing a sense of urgency by investing in their respective countries’ futures.
Part 1 of this 5-part series addressed the importance of four interdependent components in building a culture of education in the United States: School; Parents/Family; Government; and Community. Last time, Part 2 asked why there is so little discussion of parent accountability in education reform. Part 3 goes into the third aspect, community and culture. […]