Can We Just Stop?

straight talk about students and learning

Is For-Profit Education the answer to failing schools?

NO…and I repeat NO!!, but maybe not for the reasons you think. Not that for-profit is bad, not that non-profit is bad; or good for that matter. The answer is that there is no “the answer” if it involves one system or one solution. The problem with schools today is not the standards, it’s not the testing, it’s not the teachers, it’s not the students, it’s not the funding, its not the parents…the problem is that our educational structures have gotten so large, bureaucratic, and cumbersome that they require so much energy just to move, that there is not enough energy in them to serve students in ways that are meaningful for students today. The systems are the problem, and the systems are what is weighing our students’ future down.

I’ve seen the inside of “for profit” education, and it is impossible to put students first when the bottom line is the first priority. Even good educators in a for-profit system are limited in implementing what they know in their gut really works if it conflicts with the most recent profit projections, and the need to meet bonus objectives.

How about breaking up components of a large “system, and offering financial incentives to for-profit or non-profit entities

July 5, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Does Cutting Education Funding Mean Less Education?? Not Unless We Let It!!

The news is starting to be sprinkled with more and more stories of horrible Governors cutting spending on education (pausing for a gasp here). Students will no longer receive the same education they have been receiving…how horrible is that? Automatically, we need to cut essential programs and services for students. Test scores will plummet and no one will ever to go college again. Don’t our kids deserve better??

Our kids deserve better than having teachers and educational leaders jump immediately to whacking a hunk off of of the most politically charged areas of education instead of taking a look inward and working creatively toward defining a new way of utilizing the funds available to reach students in ways that are most effective. Hint: “More of the same: is not the most effective. It would wonderful if educators could truly be “lifelong learners”, and practice the problem-solving skills that we promote with students
Let’s review the process of solving a problem:
1. Clearly identify the problem
2. Brainstorm as many possible solutions as possible
3. Research and test out possible solutions, and narrow the list down to a few that seem to have the best chance of meeting the need.
4. Devise further study, testing, or plans to determine the best possible solution(s)
5. Develop plans for implementation of the best possible solutions, identifying the anticipated results and ways to measure whether or not the anticipated results are achieved.
6. Review the outcomes and make recommendations for modifications.
7. Set up a schedule for ongoing review of results to insure that the solution is continually updated and meeting the need.

Yes, there are financial challenges. Less Money only means less education if we rely on outdated educational methods and bloated bureaucratic “systems” instead of fresh thinking, innovation, student-centered thinking, and willingness to take on a challenge that just could define the next generation of education marked by flexibility, innovation, smaller “systems” and more robust future-focused strategies.

Come on America. Let’s get to it!

July 1, 2011 Posted by | Education Reform | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment