Shouldn't educators craft education policy?
It sounds like a stupid question, but sometimes those are the best kind.
I am not an educator. But in my layman’s observation of schools systems and education policies, I know that the last thing we need is to apply business models to classrooms. This “classroom as cubicle” thinking that characterizes so many charter schools’ method0logies and get’s them business loans to creat schools fails for the same reason our banking system failed:
The more one focuses on a singular indicator, the more corrupt one becomes.
Banks & businesses focused on short-term profits sacrificed responsible risk management and long-term viability. It is unacceptable to think that sacrificing the long-term quality of our children’s education is a good way to think about reforming education.
Measurement without context is a brain without a body.
Instead, I’d like to see a reform approach proposed and supported by a coalition of education practitioners, teachers, administrators, and researchers who can speak to what works in the classroom.
- I want these people to be the ones that determine how to contextualize reading comprehension, writing, math and science test data.
- I want these individuals to collaboratively design a framework for measuring teacher, school, district, and policy metrics, performance, rewards and repercussions.
- I want this coalition to be represented in the Department of Education and in a meaningful way.
I don’t know how to address these and other challenges, but these people do. We must trust and respect that. After all, public policy not designed by the people it touches should be called what it is: unkept promises.
Our New Education Secretary disagrees with me
Arne Duncan, our new Secretary of Education was never a teacher or administrator. He gave his first testimony to the House Education and Labor Committee this week. I am especially perturbed by Secretary Duncan’s affinity towards charter schools:
Successful, respected educators agree with me
Teacher, Principal, author, child advocate, and leader of the Small Schools movment Deborah Meier posed this question and gave other critiques of today’s thinking on education reform on Democracy Now! yesterday:
Why do we have a Department of Education that is led by so few actual educators?
She went on to criticize the cracking of the door towards more support for charter schools, and eviscerated the notion that a business mindset will fix education:
Unfortunately, many believe that only people that know how to manipulate money know how to change the world for the better.
Who do you agree with?
One Love. One II.