In a commentary by Van Schoales on Education Week, she titles her opinion the end of education reform.
My thought was: now why is this the end?
Now is the time to reform education from the bottom up!
While the far left liberal progressives want to control our lives and remove every freedom we have, Republicans want to shrink the size of the government and put back the decision of education to parents and teachers–those closest to the students being taught. That said, reform, real reform, is only beginning.
Washington doesn’t know your kids. They are so far removed from what your kids are learning that they can’t even begin to understand what works best.
Every teacher can and should design the curriculum that best fits his or her students. Accountability should come from the local district schools.
The fact that high school graduates aren’t prepared for the real world, should make you question what the hell kind of formal education your kids are getting.
The era of progressive education is over. It’s been a pervasive movement in America responsible for many things-both good and bad but more bad than good-things like, eliminating our liberal tradition to unjustified extremes. Liberal progressive movement is the reason we are leaving kids behind.
I am so jumping with joy that Michelle Rhee, Joel Klein and Tom Boasberg have all moved on.
Yay! The national wave has crested!
Wow! The question should be, how can we turn back time to an era when grammar and rhetoric achieved the kind of prestige that logic did in the late Middle Ages? How do we go back to a liberal arts curriculum?
Is Van Schoales serious when he writes “We had more changes in federal and state education policy designed to improve achievement since the passage on th No Child is Left Behind Act in 2001 than the Civil Rights era?”
He’s kidding, right?
America has been reforming education since the beginning of the twentieth century. Progressives in America have eliminated our liberal arts tradition to unjustified extremes.
In the early years, the goal was to offer alternatives to training in the liberal arts so as to benefit those who were not college bound. Today, we are training kids on practical subjects and less on formal modes of instruction.
Moreover, I wonder where this commentator got his facts about Denver, New Orleans, and DC. Fuzzy math? Last I checked only 32% of students in Denver are proficient in reading by 4th grade. I get it. Let’s give poor Denver some credit but geez… 68% of our students are average to below average in reading skills. Not to mention that learning cursive has been scrapped!
Moving forward, don’t dwell on not having federal government support. What we need now is for educators to put balance back into education i.e. the goal of education should be “to make good judgments, both formal and Informal, determinate reflective.” David Mulroy, War Against Grammar.
Success will only be achieved when we can blend traditional methods of education with the progressive methods of education that began at the turn of the twentieth century.
Let me tell you where we made progress. We made progress in opening up education to the masses and providing alternatives to going to college. However, we have also created a society where everyone is an expert but no one is truly knowledgeable at anything. We have given girls the opportunity in courses open only to boys but are leaving our boys behind. More girls are attending college than boys. These are both good and bad things. But, more than anything, we have failed to prepare teachers of primary and secondary schools. Aspiring teachers get practicality and little intellectual prestige.
In Denver, 25% of Hispanics read proficiently. Yes. Denver pushes its kids to read by kindergarten! But kids don’t memorize rules, definitions and facts. Instead, Denver focuses on taking away parental rights.
We need to go back to a curriculum that provides children the three R’s while still giving students the opportunities for self-expression and the opportunity to contribute positively. They should master the basics before going on to the next level. It is then we will see improvement in test scores in reading, language, and math.
We should avoid extremes! Reading needs to be taught. Teachers need to be taught the science of reading. (Grammar needs to be taught so kids can think clearly.) And we need to bring back the librarian.
But I agree with Van, whatever we do we need to work with teachers and students and parents and leaders-to make better changes that don’t leave students, especially economically challenged students, behind.
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