Creating a Model-T School

I know this segment from the PBS News Hour is pretty old in web time (posted all the way back in December 2012), but if you haven’t seen the piece, it’s worth ten minutes of your time.

There is so much wrong with both this school concept and this report, starting with the fact that anyone considers this to be an example of education “reform”.

In the introduction to the profile of one Rocketship school, the reporter implicitly compares education to the auto industry and tells us that that no one has figured out how to do the same for schools.

He’s totally wrong. Most schools in the US already use an assembly line format, a system that is little changed from when it was created at the birth of compulsory education in the late 19th century, and one that was designed to meet the needs of an exploding industrial economy.

In 2013, that industrial society is all but gone and kids need a whole different set of skills than what they’ll learn from the indoctrination (the only word to describe what I saw in the video) approach at the heart of the Rocketship model. Unless, of course, they’ll spend their working life taking standardized tests.

The narrator ends the report by saying that “Rocketship could become the Model-T of education”.

The Model-T was certainly the right vehicle for it’s time, but that period was a century ago.

The same vintage as this educational reform concept.