In a recent Huffington Post article, Diann Woodard argued for designing an educational system “to equip all children with the skills to exercise sound, independent judgment as workers and citizens will they be successfully educated” and challenged the data-driven business model reformers who advocate for vouchers, charter schools and test scores as the measure of success.
The business-minded reformers who champion vouchers, charter schools and accountability for improved results are simply seeking to turn the educational experience into a competitive market experience as well as apply business management practices. What the market model does not do is distribute opportunity equally, since access and thus opportunity goes to those who can pay. The market doesn’t serve all customers only paying customers—the ones who can pay more will get more attention for sure. Moreover American business management is not world-class, so it is not clear how they can be leaders of reform when they themselves have resisted the need to change—surely they are not all that and a bag of chips!
As Diann Woodard noted, “to be successful in reforming public education, we must teach with an expectation of learning, not with the presumption of achievement by some and remediation among the rest.” If we critically think about ‘the why’ of an educational system we will unavoidably be brought to the ground truth that human beings—and that’s what children are, not merely potential workers—must continually learn in order to remain viable. That is to say people must be unceasing learners and therefore they must learn how to learn at the higher levels of learning. If we are all capable of doing this, then no future challenge will be unmet! Thus we might all be better served if those in authority—and this could be the united commoners—envision and enact a system for learning wherein all have the opportunity, and are provided the facilitative support, to unfold their uniquely human potential.
Accordingly this is far too important to place this in the hands of politicians funded by special interest coalitions. Don’t you think it is time that the voice of the citizenry—along with those who actually work within the system—should have a say in the improvement of the system for learning?