Monday, November 27, 2006

more than a test

this is a pull quote about the No Child Left Behind program from the times article below:

But the evidence is becoming difficult to ignore: when educators do succeed at educating poor minority students up to national standards of proficiency, they invariably use methods that are radically different and more intensive than those employed in most American public schools. So as the No Child Left Behind law comes up for reauthorization next year, Americans are facing an increasingly stark choice: is the nation really committed to guaranteeing that all of the country’s students will succeed to the same high level? And if so, how hard are we willing to work, and what resources are we willing to commit, to achieve that goal?

i was talking about this very thing with my roomie while drinking a whole bottle of wine wednesday night, which may explain my loose grip on reality. i said, 'no one is really serious about education reform. we know what works - we've seen all those programs about education innovations, the best performing charter schools, the curricula that works and leads to college enrollment. if people were serious, they'd scrap everything and take those best practices and make. it. work. if mayor daley is so broken up about chicago's schools, then why isn't he telling CPS to create a Montessori model in every classroom?'

roomie said, 'it costs too much. no one will do it. it's too expensive.'

so we've acknowledged that our public school system is not living up to its standards, and we've honestly tried all the dinky little stop-gaps to solve it (salaries, testing standards, private management, etc.) and nothing has changed.

are the folks in charge of our educational system really that lazy?

What It Takes to Make a Student - New York Times


Anonymous said...

I was just discussing this very topic with some coworkers today--KIPP schools and whether they were the future of education, or an anomaly that can't be replicated and/or sustained. We think the latter. They require supremely dedicated and talented leaders and teachers whose work is a mission for them. Even if the funds were there to put this model in every district in America, the human capital isn't there. Even the ones doing it now won't be able to sustain a 15+ hour a day commitment level, which is integral to the program's success.

ding said...

then we're screwed? we're left with tired old teachers who can't cut it and a curriculum that's substandard in every way?

maybe KIPP isn't so replicable because their teachers seem to be super human but what about other models - Montessori?

(ahem. must disclose that i don't have kids so i really don't know what the really great private schools are out there.)