Debating School Reform

Everyone suffers when policy debate focuses on the extremes. We can’t get far when one side claims that schools are entirely to blame for the achievement gap, and the other side claims that the achievement gap is entirely caused by factors beyond the schools’ control. A more constructive debate would start from a more balanced premise, i.e., that school improvement is possible and can get good results, but that extra-school factors are also important. That would leave plenty of room for argument, and it would be about options and evidence.

Sometimes I fear that Monty Python set the pattern for arguments about education policy.

-Paul Hill

5 Replies to “Debating School Reform”

  1. I was once at a conference on dropouts in which two panelists argued just as Michael Palin and John Cleese did. One said that the Texas high school exit test did not affect the dropout rate, and another said yes it did. The first said no, it didn’t and it went on like that for a few minutes. Would that it had been a joke.

  2. If loss of life, namely our children’s, weren’t the cost for this non-sense it would be a jolly good laugh.

    Yet, as Paul duly noted, it is a Monty Python skit, without a doubt! This begs the question, “Why do we tolerate the absurd?”

    I for one, don’t! I finally accepted that if someone is going to do something intelligent, and I see a clear path, I must take the steps I see. It feels like a Sisyphus battle because we entertain the shame-blame game rather than JUST Making the needed changes. Geesh!

    Aren’t our kid’s future worth more than we’re currently giving them, after all, the kids ARE DEPENDENT upon us to teach them the way to adulthood, and I fear, presently, we are failing miserably.

    The result, is not just apathy, boredom, gang/school violence and rampant need to numb out with drugs, It is failed economy and loss of world leadership!

    The stakes are high. The way out is relatively easy, but it does require our free Will to act and follow through with common sense and available pedagogy. Such are the signs of intelligent life… presently we are exhibiting signs of delusion and confusion of ignorance.

    Alas, at 59, I have to dig out my youth bones and apply what I have to offer, and so I do, but I don’t understand why the doers here are not 100 fold in number!

    All to Love,

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