The Strange Future of the Teaching Profession
In 1991, just after stepping into his new role as secretary of education, Lamar Alexander envisioned a system of public educationwhere school districts would not have an “exclusive monopoly” to operate public schools. Instead, a public school “could be redefined as a school that receives public funds and is “accountable to public authority,” and “could be operated by public entities such as the Smithsonian Institution, by private nonprofit organizations, or by businesses.”
Twenty-five years later, it appears that Alexander’s dream is closer than ever to becoming reality.
As billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Reed Hastings of Netflix and Bill Gates of Microsoft invest millions of dollars into “personalized learning” experiments, corporate-sponsored bills are rapidly popping up across the country to move states toward competency-based education models that investors hope will allow learning to happen “anytime, anywhere.”
Organizations like the Center for the Future of Museums are now predicting the end of neighborhood schools:
The U.S. Department of Education in collaboration with The After-School Corporation describe a system in which students are “no longer tethered to school buildings or schedules,” but are instead free to tote data backpacks from The Strange Future of the Teaching Profession – Save Maine Schools: