"Ask an impertinent question, and you're on your way to a pertinent answer." —Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man
As of October 2015, my goal for this blog is to ask 101 impertinent questions.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

6—When will we realize that our education system is not failing? Yes, it's failing to give our children the education they need and deserve. But the education system itself is the strongest institution in America. And here's why:

Just today, President Obama announced that no more than 2 percent of classroom time should be spent on standardized testing. He and his Education Secretary Arne Duncan will be meeting with teachers to see how they can cut down on testing time. For the last seven years, Arne Duncan's Race to the Top has taken the failures of testing resulting from No Child Left Behind to new lows. In another decade, we will be reviewing the failures of the Common Core and lamenting the devastation of public education by the charter school movement.

Since the National Defense Education Act of 1958, one ineffectual reform after the other has gone tearing through through the halls of American public education like Mr. Toad on his wild ride.For a brief history of the craziness of education reform going back to the fifties, check out my website. Begin here with current reform, and check out the menu for the history and other observations on reform.

The bottom line regarding all education reform is that it's crafted by think tankers, bureaucrats, and politicians in offices where children rarely go. The policies they write are based more on expediency and academic fad than on the welfare of children. More recently the wealthy such as Eli Broad, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg are on the scene. Their efforts are experimental and lacking any sort of plan for comprehensive reform effort that will address the damage done to public education by decades of ineffectual reforms.

Our education system is not failing. Yes, it's failing to give all our children the education they need and deserve. But the education system is the strongest institution in the nation. Why? Because no one has ever been held accountable for turning our public schools into stagnant learning environments where success is defined by mission statements and test scores. And because, year after year, we keep sending our children to these schools that we know are academically inferior but are becoming increasingly dangerous. In short, we're doing exactly what we've been taught to do in school—which is to sit down, keep quiet, and do whatever it takes to get the grade.

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