S l1600

It’s the start of a new school year. And, just as with that other new year’s day, we get lots of prognostication about schools, teachers, and students in the coming twelve months.1

Most are not worth the bytes from which they’re constructed.

This one, for example, from a digital magazine called District Administration is entitled “Buckle up: Here’s what experts are predicting for the 2023-24 school year”.

Expert number one, the “senior director of product marketing” at a company that sells learning management systems, offers this prediction.

Teaching and learning are now definitely tech-enabled, and we’re seeing embrace edtech tools in the physical classroom. And of course, AI is about all anyone is talking about. There will be a continued proliferation of new AI-centric apps and tools.

Profound. Never saw that coming.

She goes on to forecast “wider adoption” of AI-enhanced tools in schools and suggests that administrators need to “foster strong dialogue with both teachers and students” around that adoption.

Expert number two is the founder and CEO of a vendor for a student data management system. He also has unique insight into the problems of education.

Many districts are struggling to recruit and retain teachers as a variety of job-related stressors have driven teachers out of classrooms. To support high-quality, effective education, schools will need to invest in programs that can support teachers, such as professional development and mentoring.

I wonder if he might have a product to help with that professional development and mentoring.

Next up, an education “expert” who is president of a “a research-based, mission-driven organization that supports students and educators worldwide by creating assessment solutions that precisely measure growth and proficiency”. Whatever that means.

He says schools and districts need to make better use of student data.

Finally, we have the “director of education and engagement” for a company selling systems to help schools “easily track and improve student attendance”. His prediction concerns “chronic absenteeism”.

As I said, “expert predictions” with little value. Beyond marketing materials.

When asked to predict what will happen in the coming school year, most educators, the real experts, would admit they really don’t know. Kids are unpredictable that way.

At the top, a classic picture of a fortune teller in a trance with his crystal ball. Probably just as accurate as our education forecasters.

1. Or around ten months in most places. Still waiting for a good justification for not holding year-round school.