Must Read Kolderie

If you only read one thing today, make it this provocative Ed Week commentary by Ted Kolderie.

2 Replies to “Must Read Kolderie”

  1. Andrew,

    I also enjoyed the Commentary, but I’m also curious about your response. Paul Tillich challenged us to take “a leap of faith” into the “Unknown,” and that is what we must do in education. And it seems obvious to me that we need numerous,different leaps into a bunch of different unknowns.

    On a practical level, I see us as being defeated by this paradox. We need more than incremental improvements, especially to prepare our poorest kids, for the 21st century. So we “swing for the fences” at every turn at the plate. Frustrated by the inertia of traditional schools, we gamble on reforms that we hope to scale up. But most degenerate into half-baked quick fixes that really aren’t much different than the old reforms de jour of traditional education.

    I see his article as saying, if nothing else, reforms must come cafeteria-style and can’t be imposed as a one size fits all mandate. Do you agree?

    So getting back to policy and politics, why not invest in a series of initiatives to build capacity, such as a Marshall Plan for teachers, and the same for principals, and pre-K and early ed, and graduation and recovery efforts for older teens, and Turnaround efforts. Accountability would be built into each. The quest for some overarching, national, systemic, data-driven accountability could be put on the back burner, and in the meantime testing could be used for diagnostic purposes. Such a suggestion would not be nearly as daring as the Commentary’s “nonpolitical” suggestion that “we could let different forms of schooling be adopted …”assuring others … that the ‘different’ will not be imposed on them, and having them in turn agree not to suppress the innovation.”

    If you agree with that logic, shouldn’t we ask whether NCLB would have been more efective if its testing had been diagnostic?

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