To 2014 (and beyond)

In Getting to 2014 (and Beyond): The Choices and Challenges Ahead, Education Sector collects nine essays on education reforms — “new Common Core standards, new assessments, new accountability systems, new teacher evaluations, new data systems, and for some states, Race to the Top” — that will have to be implemented “all at once.”

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  1. I didn’t get any farther then the introduction.

    Ms. Hyslop’s use of the Apple Ipod as an example of good design and continuous improvement is the sort of example that tells me the essays will be devoted to trying to make public education appear innovative and responsive without coming to grips with the reason why it isn’t. The collection might more accurately have been entitled “Getting to 2014 (and Beyond): The Challenge of Creating the Illusion of Change One, More Time“.

    The reason th example of the Ipod is so informative is because it’s constructed of the elements absent from the public education system. Innovation and daring are certainly missing from the public education system, all well-crafted illusions to the contrary not withstanding, but so, also, are other neceesary elements.

    Apple, for instance, enjoys the mind-focusing benefits of the imminent prospect of being hung if they don’t get their products right in enough particulars to please and intrigue prospective customers, a benefit the public education system does not enjoy. Without that benefit there’s no need to engage in risky behavior like innovation or the burdensome toll exacted by responsiveness. If the “customer” doesn’t like the product well, who cares?

    Towards the end of the introduction Ms. Hyslop opines, “There are no right or wrong answers.”

    Of course that’s nonsense.

    Just like the existence of “gray” shouldn’t blind us to the fact that black and white still exist so the failure to find answers shouldn’t be construed as evidence that none exist. There are right answers but they require the asking of the right questions. Ms. Hyslop doesn’t and won’t. Fortunately there are those who will and are.

    • tim-10-ber says:

      Allen — you might enjoy this article…

      I thought the writer asked some very good questions and technology and education and what is the real purpose of technology in the classroom today…hopefully not tomorrow.

      • Thanks for the thought but Mr. Richardson more clearly exemplifies the defense of the public education status quo then even Ms. Hyslop.

        The unvoiced, but inescapable, assumptions built into Mr. Richardson’s rumination is of a classroom of some number of kids, overseen by a teacher who teaches in a school overseen by a principal who runs a school which is part of a school district run by a superintendant and overseen by an elected school board which is funded by taxes and mandates attendence. The reason that unvoiced assumption’s important is the other failing in piece which is in treating the advent of technology in education as if it’s a startlingly new idea.

        It isn’t and without coming to terms with the uniform failure of technology to have an impact on education till relatively recently his piece lacks a context that’s important to an understanding of why technology might be having an impact now, and the direction it’s taking education.