Keeping Me Honest

In response to my little rant last week about remarks made by Secretary of Education Paige (he of the Texas education "miracle"), the writer of Chaos Theory, a new web log about education, posted a comment giving me and others ranting on the subject a challenge.

I guess what bothers me most is that I see a whole bunch of complaining about NCLB and the state of public education, but I don’t see anyone offering up alternatives. Is it just the funding? Would it work if the money was there? Just looking for answers. Personally, I believe that lack of parental involvement is one of the biggest factors bringing down schools today. I don’t have the answers. As a single parent of two (in two different school districts) I know it’s tough. I am not trying to offend. I just want to understand. As a future educator I’d love to know what you people, current teachers, think about the public school system. What would you do to fix it?

Excellent point, David! In some ways that’s the nature of this format – fast reactions to events of the world – but I agree that along with the complaints I need to offer some positive ideas for fixing the problem. I don’t have all the answers either and I’m not an expert on the subject of school reform, only someone who has taught for many years in two large public systems. But in that context I accept the challenge. In the future I will try to offer some ideas for fixing a very large and complex problem instead of just ranting at the ideas of others.

1 Comments Keeping Me Honest

  1. chett

    I’ve done a great deal of research into school reform (in addition to teaching at inner-city public schools), and I’ve come up with the following blueprint. (Not a single one of these items costs one dime more than is spent today.)

    1. Free up all avenues of parental choice, including vouchers for poor parents, and deregulate home schooling.

    2. Call low standards and excuses what they are: a recipe for failure. (see #6)

    3. Establish clear guidelines for behavior, with firm but reasonable consequences for each.

    4. Get real, specific curricula.

    5. Free public schools to hire who they think will best do the job

    6. Study what successful schools (especially high performing, high poverty schools) are doing and learn from them.

    For more, see:

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