Homework, Soccer, and Meaningful Reform
The only meaningful school reform will address the reality that not every child wants to be a brain surgeon: public school instruction should be adapted to the needs of two very different types of student: the academic-oriented and the nonacademic-oriented.
Firing Teachers Won't Improve U.S. Education
Judging by responses to a recent NPR report on a lawsuit to make it easier to fire California teachers, many members of the public seem to see public school teachers as a species of self-sacrificing missionaries dedicated to acting as surrogate parents to every child who enters their classroom.
The Testing Opt-Out Movement
Parents and teachers distressed by the effect of ever-increasing state-mandated standardized testing of younger and younger children are at the heart of a grassroots movement to resist what they see as a mindless process that has little to do with education or the mental well-being of children.
Criticism of Reform Not Welcome
Top-tier reformers like Arne Duncan and state superintendents don't want to listen to the valid criticisms of parents, principals, and teachers. They meet complaints by taking the high ground, equating their untried, testing-heavy education reforms with the moral struggle for civil rights.
Educational Goals vs U.S. Culture
Efforts at school reform without an overhaul of U.S. cultural priorities are pie in the sky.
Beware of smoke and mirror reasoning fostered by entrepreneurs whose principal agenda is the discrediting of the public schools and the rechanneling of public monies into the private business sector.
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