We look at the throngs of edreformers and wonder which of them may have an answer. Any answer. Prognosticators, with their sandwich
boards warn of the end of the (education) world. “Your schools are coming to an end! Repent!” they preach on the corners and in the arcades to any and all who listen.
Others gather and say things that people love to hear. They seem to be building schools that they would love to attend. Schools where they would love to work. When asked, they cannot comment as to the outcomes for this type of school. But insist that it is all for the better and that by removing obstacles such as grades, levels, curriculum, assessment, leaders, people, desks, order, attendance, budgets, technology, teachers, students, math, words, food, animals, and anything else that resembles a plan <breathe> that the result will be improvement.
There is an end coming. It is not the end of public education, nor the end of learning as we know it. It is the end of…
That is not to say that nothing will end.
That is to say that it is the end of teachers, parents, students, and communities who do nothing. So it may be more accurate to say that this is just the beginning.
“Now,” you may ask, “why all the doomsday talk?” Because there is an entire industry built upon the failing educational system in America. From test makers who set the pace by exposing the failures to the test-prep publishers (with names strikingly similar to those of the test creators) to the teacher-prep critics to the parent-trap cynics; from the journalists-come-educators (you mean you can do that?!) to the curmudgeons who trudge to the classroom every day. Problems with education in America provide jobs and beau coup income for those who reveal it, measure it, mediate it, endure it, document it, and comment on it.
You have to ask yourself. Are you willing to pay that person’s check today?
A new year is upon us. Make some decisions. Do not simply show up.