Every education system in the world is being reformed at the moment and it’s not enough. Reform is no use anymore, because that’s simply improving a broken model. What we need — and the word’s been used many times during the course of the past few days — is not evolution, but a revolution in education.
To me, the lesson is that while there are no silver bullets to chip away at poverty or improve national competitiveness, improving the ranks of teachers is part of the answer. That’s especially true for needy kids, who often get the weakest teachers. That should be the civil rights scandal of our time.
The implication is that we need rigorous teacher evaluations, more pay for good teachers and more training and weeding-out of poor teachers. The need for more pay is simple. In the 1950s, outstanding women like Grady didn’t have many alternatives, and they became teachers. Grady was black, so she didn’t have many options other than teaching black children in a segregated school.
Today, women like Grady often become doctors, lawyers or bankers — professions with far higher salaries. If we want to recruit and retain the best teachers, we simply have to pay more — while also more aggressively thinning out those who don’t succeed. It’s worth it.
An interesting take on public vs private education, arguing that politicians and “ruling elite,” maintain their distance from the public schools they are governing & passing laws & budget policies that weaken them.
I kept this posted on the wall in my classroom for 12 years….and everyday on the first day of school, I got the strangest looks from my students. ”Mrs. D, do you know that word is misspelled?….Mrs. D….um….” I kept it there for several reasons: 1) I loved things that made my students cock their…
Students have always found a way to needle the teacher — the hapless substitute or the instructor who has never mastered classroom management skills. But now, they have the high-tech tools to shame the teacher virally.
It is possible to create equality. And perhaps even more important — as a challenge to the American way of thinking about education reform — Finland’s experience shows that it is possible to achieve excellence by focusing not on competition, but on cooperation, and not on choice, but on equity.
The problem facing education in America isn’t the ethnic diversity of the population but the economic inequality of society, and this is precisely the problem that Finnish education reform addressed. More equity at home might just be what America needs to be more competitive abroad.