Thank you for visiting our blog and welcome to what we hope will be an ongoing conversation regarding education. A 21st century examination of the te...
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July 9, 2014
The first TpT conference in Vegas!
July 14, 2014
Race to the Top?
August 24, 2014
Reform, after reform, after reform. If you have been teaching for any length of time, I am sure you have endured numerous governmental, educational reforms (remember No Child Left Behind)? Interestingly, Race to the Top is the most recent restructuring proposed by the Obama administration, and on the surface, the foundational premise of this program seems simple enough.
Set forth clear criteria with unambiguous goals, and allow states to compete for around 4 billion in education money. How does the Department of Education assess the performance of students, teachers and the states? Somewhere in Washington, policy makers spend inordinate amounts of time analyzing results from standardized tests; in fact, tests are at the heart of Race to the Top reforms.
However, real teachers know what transpires when you teach a child to pass a test, versus working to develop an educated person who can read, write, and think cogently, coherently, and critically. Not to mention, quite a number of students may not test well and or go on to university-level learning, but may be perfectly suited for vocational training and entry to highly skilled blue-collar labor or trades. Without question, there are critics and supporters of Race to the Top in both political parties. Regardless of its origination on the political spectrum, the next series of reforms should focus on our kids instead of test scores.
I have a suggestion. Instead of bureaucrats sitting in a room somewhere in Washington deciding what students and educators need, how about getting teachers from around the country together over a cup of coffee and snacks for a discussion. I am sure we could devise something more substantial than a figurative race somewhere with a finish line located in some politician's imagination. I will be sitting here holding my breath waiting for that one to happen.
To be frank, I do not know who is winning this Race to the Top, but I don't think it's the students. Please, share with us your ideas on education reform, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest by clicking one of the links below.