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Powerful Cons Without Results Not Improving America’s Urban Schools

Posted By: Dick Schutz on July 17, 2003
Seldom has there been such a mismatch between the title of a book and its text. Doug Mitchell has it right. The “reforms” simply threw the old rascals out, changing political control but not anything that produced improved performance. The focus on political control and administrative/legislative mandates, rather than on operational instructional matters has failed to produce “clear and consistent positive trends in school performance” in almost 50 years of “reform” efforts. Current “reform” efforts are in the same tradition, with no greater likelihood of success.

Future improvement in schooling will involve altogether different considerations. Technical advances in interactive text and speech recognition have made it possible to begin developing applications that will make operational instruction efficient and effective. The results of these applications will be intrinsically transparent, rather than relying on extrinsic psychometric “tests.” Incorporating advances in broadband media and wireless communication, this capability can be expected to become progressively more powerful.

The anticipated developments will provide a basis for operationally remodeling schooling. I’ve suggested one possible alternative architecture in a recently posted TCR article. Other and better alternatives can be anticipated.

The bases for these improvements are currently within the state of the art. But that’s just the beginning. For a peek further down the pike, take a look at Ray Kurzweil’s article, “The End of Handicaps” in eSchoolNews online: http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showStory.cfm?ArticleID=4491

Dick Schutz
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 Powerful Cons Without Results Not Improving America’s Urban Schools by Dick Schutz on July 17, 2003
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