Building the future of school reform

The Futures of School Reform blog with a cast of researchers, teachers and policymakers has debuted on Ed Week. Harvard Education Prof. Jal Mehta introduces the blog, which will include commentaries:

. . .  one seeks to make a data-based case for the need to integrate schooling and social services; another challenges “factory model” schooling and asks for a transformation towards a “knowledge profession”; a third seeks to challenge our current desire to find more teachers who are “superpeople,” and instead suggests we should “unbundle” teaching into a more manageable job.

Mehta and Robert Schwartz, a Harvard colleague, launched the futures project three years ago.

Our premise was straightforward: If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re not going to get there. We have some amazing schools, but few if any districts that consistently produce strong results for all of their students, particularly for high poverty students. We have some exceptionally strong charter schools and charter networks, but even the staunchest members of the entrepreneurial movement would acknowledge that there are serious questions about scale. We have many, many, talented and committed people across the sector, but we would submit, that if they continue to do their work in the same ways in the same institutions, the collective result is likely not to be too different from what it is today.

I like the idea of making teaching a job that can be done well by people who aren’t “super” or saintly or destined to burn out in a year or two.

The “future” looks a lot like the past, writes Alexander Russo, looking at who’s who.

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  1. Michael E. Lopez says:


    Lots of academics.

    Lots of academics.

  2. palisadesk says:

    OK, I read a lot but I don’t watch many education-related video seminars on my dial-up. I can’t put a face to most prominent education reformers, real or putative. Can somebody post a Dramatis Personae of those photogenic reformers? A few look kinda familiar but I’m sure I have them pegged incorrectly (one looks like my undergraduate Classics advisor…. that’s got to be wrong).

  3. The Futures of School Reform blog with a cast of researchers, teachers and policymakers has debuted on Ed Week.

    Nice try, but there’s not one K12 school teacher on the list.

  4. Russo’s right.