Even if it were true that only 25% of teachers are excellent, wouldn't the logical goal be making more excellent teachers?
In a time when we're loading up classrooms, narrowing curriculum, laying off teachers and closing schools--how could we use the quarter-million spent on a single, ultimately forgettable evening by 250 teenagers?
One of the most familiar memes in the ed reform discourse is that we make educational decisions for the benefit of adults, not kids. I used to think that wasn't true. Now I wonder.
This new evaluation system is a definite attempt to provide more objective criteria to a process that has been seriously flawed over the years by subjectivity. Whether or not teachers want to be evaluated in a more objective manner remains to be seen.
Sensible, mainstream advice from Dear Abby. Is this how the general public sees school counseling and entry into teaching?
Kids should study music because it's central to every human society on earth and has a vitally important role in every aspect of culture, from history to literature to media and communication studies. Music is part of what it means to be a human being.
If a loose framework of common national standards was the end point of this adventure, I wouldn't worry so much myself. I can see value in a slim, overarching outline of essential content. It's the standardized national tests and the on-line curriculum Gates and Pearson are developing that freak me out.
Too much of what we do in education revolves around reproducing and reiterating, rather than playful creation.
What if we held a low-cost People's Re-authorization of ESEA? Kept in all the good stuff about equity, all kids deserving a custom-tailored curriculum and instruction. Lost all the stuff about constant, expensive testing of little kids, humiliating teachers with bogus data analysis, and trying to use one of our great public resources--education--as a marketing opportunity.