wasting bandwidth since 1999

Both Evils Look Pretty Bad

I should know better than to take “just one quick look” at my RSS aggregator when I should be sleeping.

Will links to and comments on an article from The Atlantic suggesting that the first step to true education reform would be to kill all the school boards.

And that certainly caught my attention.

The writer makes the point that our system of local control of education is a throwback to Colonial days and that it is pretty much impossible to change anything when you leave it up to administrators in 130,000 individual districts.

I’ve only skimmed his arguments but I find myself drawn to the idea of a national curriculum and one set of educational goals and policies.

It sounds good… until you realize such an approach has already given us No Child Left Behind.

Exchange control by local boards of education, the majority of which are ineffectual at best, for a national system that drastically narrows the curriculum and substitutes continuous testing for actual learning?

I’ll have to sleep on that Catch-22.

school boards, nclb, catch-22

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3 Comments

  1. The trouble is not primarily with the governance model.

    The trouble is primarily with ideas in the heads of educators, which they get from university education departments.

    That said, we should have several curricula designed at the national level. Local schools should be free to choose among them, though private schools governed by professional educators would do better at choosing than lay boards. Freedom should be preserved by allowing parents choice among schools.

    But the big problem remains the bad ideas in the heads of many professional educators.

  2. My thoughts were mirroring yours last week. I was in a Promethean Activboard training at a British school here in Singapore. I can’t argue for how good or bad the British national curriculum is. However, I was impressed with some of the effects of having a national curriculum, such as any IWB resource you make are of use to a huge number of teachers, a huge number of other teachers are making resources that you can use, when you switch schools you already know the curriculum, and it is easy for museums and other institutions to develop materials and exhibits that support what you are trying to do in the classroom.

  3. Tom

    I ended up with the same nightmare.

    A national curriculum would be great IF I could trust our government to come up with one.

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