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Educational Reform is dead. Long live instructional re-form.

Posted By: Dick Schutz on November 26, 2010
Certainly the “standards and standardized tests” belief system that is the foundation of educational reform has failed at every step since its origins in the late 1960’s. It failed with Goals 2000; with NCLB; and the “education stimulus” won’t be recorded as “failed” only because it will be “vanished” in the “new normal” of economic austerity.

So much for "failure."What assets do we have to build on? Our government and our kids.

Governmentally, ESEA in general and NCLB in particular has achieved two important accomplishments that have gone unnoticed.

One. The Federal legislation has raised the matter of elhi education from a level of local media attention to a national level. In earlier days education “news” was a matter of high school sports, human interest stories, and an annual positive spin on the local standardized test scores. Today, we have the print and digital media giving space to education.

Two. State “Departments of Education” have grown from small and puny operations to sizable bureaucracies with capacity that matches, if not exceeds that of the US Department of Education. In a federal system of government, that’s an important balancing accomplishment.

Our human capital is strong. US kids are “world class. The era of education reform focused on trying to eliminate “deficits”—in kids, in teachers, and in parents. Parents send schools the best kids they have. And all kids with few exceptions enter school with the minimum prerequisites to be taught how to read and to acquire other valuable academic accomplishments. Teachers with few exceptions are “qualified.” The bottom of the EdChain is its strength.

Is there work to be done? Of course. Educational Reform is dead. Long live instructional re-form.

Dick Schutz
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 Educational Reform is dead. Long live instructional re-form. by Dick Schutz on November 26, 2010
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