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We Don’t Need Education Reform

This seems to be the week for offering school-related advice to the new administration.

Ken Robinson, who was my personal choice to be the new Secretary of Education, has some very wise counsel for Obama and his education leaders.

He wastes no time in getting to the heart of the matter.

Transforming education has to be at the root of everything the new administration hopes to achieve, and nothing it does in the short term will be sustainable otherwise.

The present system was designed for 19th century industrialism and it’s overheating in a dangerous way. Reforming education isn’t enough. The real task is transformation. America urgently needs systems of education that live and breathe in the 21st century. This is a large task and it can’t be put off.

And, according to Sir Ken, No Child Left Behind is nowhere close to transformative.

I said that the premise of the act [NCLB] is flawed. Actually there are three flawed premises. First, NCLB promotes a catastrophically narrow idea of intelligence and ability. The result is a terrible waste of talent and motivation in countless students. Second, it confuses standards with standardizing. The result is that schools across the country are becoming dreary and homogenized. And third, it assumes that education can be improved without the professional creativity and personal passion of teachers. The result is that too many good teachers are streaming out of the very schools that urgently need them to stay. All of this is holding America back in a world that’s moving faster than ever.

Read the whole thing for more great thinking about why we need more than the tinkering around the edges that passes for education reform in this country.

We need a whole new way of looking at the concept of teaching and learning.

1 Comment

  1. KG

    This is the one I think you should send to Peter

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