wasting bandwidth since 1999

Not Asking The Right Question

Lots of media attention on education lately.

The president says he wants to rewrite No Child Left Behind, re-envisioning (but not lessening) the federal role in education.

Of course, the law will continue to over-emphasize testing, except that we’re now going to use the softer term “assessment”.

The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers decided to create a set of national standards for teaching English and math.


But they seem to have largely ignored the national standards created by NCTE and NCTM (don’t bother, they’re just educators) and some states may decline to join this particular nation.

Meanwhile, Arne Duncan, our Secretary of Education, is doing his best Monty Hall impression by handing out the first round of prizes in our new billion dollar game show, Race to the Top.

I’ll offer you $500 million for the charter school behind door number 1!

And Newsweek says we should fire all the teachers.

Or at least all the bad ones. And everyone in Rhode Island. They aren’t clear on where schools will find replacements other than that good teachers can’t be union members.

Bill Maher, on the other hand, says to fire all the parents.

Ok, so we have no shortage on education experts in this country.

However, all of this frenetic activity in the name of “reform” is just messing with the appearance of the pieces on the same old chessboard.

Missing is any serious discussion of the fundamental structure and purpose of American education.

We need to start with Will’s straight-to-the-heart-of-the-matter question: What’s the problem that schools solve?

Image: monty hall by debaird, from Flickr and used under a Creative Commons license.


  1. Jason

    What is the problem that schools solve? The link is incomplete.

  2. Tim

    Link is working now. Sorry about that.

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