Friday, March 17, 2017

Where is the U.S. in School Reform in 2017? | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Where is the U.S. in School Reform in 2017? | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:
Where is the U.S. in School Reform in 2017?


Where is the U.S. in school reform now?
To answer this question, I will do what lawyers often do when arguing a case. I will stipulate certain statements as facts. These statements may not sound like facts but as an historian and practitioner of school reform I claim they are.  Should readers quarrel with these statements, I do have supporting references and we can discuss those in dispute later. I stipulate the following:
FACT 1
Historically, school reformers have overstated defects in the existing system and made gloomy predictions of disaster. Then they have understated difficulties of changing the system by proposing rose-colored solutions.
Exhibit A is what has occurred over the past three decades in the U.S.
Market-inspired school reformers, endorsed by policy elites, media and parents, using low U.S. scores on international tests time and again, have blamed chronically low-performing public schools for hampering national economic growth, innovation, and productivity by  producing graduates mismatched to the job skills employers needed to compete in a constantly changing global marketplace.
To solve this serious problem of low academic performance and inadequately prepared graduates, state and federal officials have–between the early 1980s until 2015–created and legislated a federal and state reform agenda containing the following items:
*Common (and high) K-12 academic standards,
*State and national tests to determine if all students meet those standards,
*Student test scores as the primary metric to determine success of policies,
*Accountability regulations that hold districts, schools, students, and teachers responsible for results,
*Expanded parental choice, mainly through publicly financed charter schools,
*Deploy and use new technologies to get students to learn more, faster, and better.
*Teacher and administrator evaluation and compensation on the basis of student test scores.
Business and civic leaders, public polls, and  bipartisan policymakers endorsed Where is the U.S. in School Reform in 2017? | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

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