Education talk is so frustrating. Especially those who wear the self-appointed label of “reformer”. The frustration comes from their having misnamed themselves- they are no more calling for meaningful reform than would be the case if “Oreo reform” was a call for red cookies on the outside instead of black.
Now what’s being discussed is the collective reference to the “school reformer movement” that has groups (Stand for Children, Democrats for Education Reform, StudentsFirst) pushing against the status quo and teachers unions. It’s supposed to be about these groups wanting something better, etc. BUT all they call for is “value added” assessment of teachers’ performance, measured by test scores. really?? We think we can assess teachers by how much stuff their students “retain” (let’s not bother calling it “learning” – see elsewhere on this site for that discussion).
Why is it so hard to get the point across? Is this going to reform anything of substance? If you keep standardized tests and add measuring teachers by the progress made on them, don’t we see the writing on the wall: motivation to cheat, to be easy graders, teaching EVEN more to the test and other forms of dysfunction and mismanagement? Do we really think that teachers will “teach more or better”? And with what methods? The same old ones that have failed for generations, focused on the wrong things, etc. THIS is where the reform is needed- why is this so hard to see? What are we looking for? “the king is dead, long live the king”? new paradigm same as old paradigm?
When will the meaningful talk of TRUE reform come to the forefront? What will that take?