Futures Of School Reform

Over a few years a small group met at HGSE to discuss what bold ideas – ideas outside the mainstream of today’s education conversation – might get traction in the future and leverage real change in education.  Today a new book, edited by Jal Mehta, Bob Schwartz and Rick Hess, is being released that features some ideas coming out of those conversations.  If you’re bored by today’s back and forth have a look.  If you agree with all of it then you aren’t reading closely – but some provocative ideas.

One Reply to “Futures Of School Reform”

  1. Meanwhile, the view from the trees:
    Everything You’ve Heard About Failing Schools Is Wrong

    And then everything changed. At Mission High, the struggling school she’d chosen against the advice of her friends and relatives, Maria earned high grades in math and some days caught herself speaking English even with her Spanish-speaking teachers. By 11th grade, she wrote long papers on complex topics like desegregation and the war in Iraq. She became addicted to winning debates in class, despite her shyness and heavy accent. In her junior year, she became the go-to translator and advocate for her mother, her aunts, and for other Latino kids at school. In March, Maria and her teachers were celebrating acceptance letters to five colleges and two prestigious scholarships, including one from Dave Eggers’ writing center, 826 Valencia.

    But on the big state tests—the days-long multiple-choice exams that students in California take once a year—Maria scored poorly. And these standardized tests, she understood, were how her school was graded. According to the scores, Mission High is among the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools in the country, and it has consistently failed to meet the ever-rising benchmarks set by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The law mandates universal “proficiency” in math and reading by 2014—a deadline that weighs heavily on educators around the nation, since schools that don’t meet it face stiff penalties.

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