posted on May 28, 2014 15:07
California Governor Jerry Brown put his finger on the syndrome in 2012: “Everybody went to school, so everybody thinks they know how to teach, or they think they know something about education.”
Especially politicians. So, every couple of years, a new education reform takes hold in politics. And the politicians dictate a new set of hoops for teachers, principals and educators to jump through.
This all started with the 1983 report of President Reagan’s National Commission on Excellence on Education, which seized headlines with its voice of doom: “The educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people. If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.”
That launched a series of reform fads – some good, some bad – but all based on the premise that America’s schools were going to hell in a handbasket, taking our economy, our competitiveness and our very future with them. We got standards, assessments, teacher evaluations, ending tenure, charter schools, vouchers – 30 years of successive waves of reform.
Now we get Common Core, the latest silver bullet to solve the Great Education Crisis.
Teachers I talk to praise the goals and intentions of Common Care. But they say that, like every reform, it’s being pushed through on the excitement plan, with little thought for how hard it is to implement sweeping changes overnight. As Stephen Colbert said, Common Care “prepares students for what they’ll face as adults – pointless stress and confusion.”
But is there even a crisis? Education analyst Diane Ravitch ravaged that argument when she spoke to NCSU’s Emerging Issues Forum in February. Her criticism of Republican education “reforms” in North Carolina got the headlines, but she made a deeper and more biting point: If the public schools have been failing us for 30 years, why does the United States remain the most innovative, productive and powerful economic engine in the world.?
Is it just possible that, beyond all the scare headlines and political posturing and do-good reforms, teachers are somehow managing to teach students what they need to know?
To finish Jerry Brown’s thought: “I’m putting my faith in the teachers.”
Posted in: General
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 3:54 PM
"California Governor Jerry Brown put his finger on the syndrome in 2012: “Everybody went to school, so everybody thinks they know how to teach, or they think they know something about education.”
If not the politicians, who? Bureaucrats? The credentialed? I rather like having elected officials in charge of our bureaucrats.
The alternative is .... unAmerican.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 4:39 PM
Yeah, I'd HATE to be a teacher in today's public education system. Like you say here, every couple of years there's some kind of major change on how they teach, what they teach and, in many ways, who they teach. I admire teachers every bit as much as I do cops and firefighters and our military personnel.
Common Core is wrong...and even though you are not going to actually say you believe that, I think I sense you believe it's wrong too, reading between the lines. I don't know how much you truly know about it other than the objectives it says it has...basically every student in the country getting/learning what every other student gets/learns so that a kid moving from Arkansas to Washington State will not be behind or will have to face getting used to a completely different curriculum. Sounds great, doesn't it? Well...there FAR, FAR more to Common Core than that. FAR MORE. Did I say FAR MORE? I have posted here and on the Forum that I have all but 2 are in the public school system and I am as involved with them in their education as I was their moms and dads...our 4 children. I know what I'm talking about.