1 trillion Federal Dollars has been spent on policy that forces schools to compete under the threat of closure during the last decade. We reduced learning and teaching to testing. This focus on outcomes conveniently helps the wealthy, the connected, and the powerful to justify not investing in our schools, our children, and our teachers.
What have we gained?
Over a decade of Ed Reform data points to little or no growth. Actually for our first generation to graduate knowing only No Child Left Behind, we find test scores that are lower than they were in 1992.
What are we losing?
In my view children are losing the opportunity to view learning as fun, and as something personally and socially meaningful.
We are we risking with a national common core?
We risk losing our democracy by emphasizing conformity rather than celebrating our individuality. By focusing solely career goals we lose history, science, art, music, physical education, and play. Trust me these are the subjects that liberate the mind, the soul, and spark a child's imagination.
It's simple while spending over a trillion tax dollars on testing and standards our schools have become more segregated. Rather than fight for equity in our schools, we have spent a decade increasing inequity in our schools. We don't have an Achievement Gap; we have a Gap between a system of have and have not schools.
Steve Jobs said: “I’m a very big believer in equal opportunity as opposed to equal outcome. Equal opportunity to me, more than anything, means a great education. Maybe even more important than a great family life. We could make sure that every young child in this country got a great education. We fall far short of that.”
Steve Jobs got it, the failure to focus on our Opportunity Gap places our children at risk. Focusing on outcomes cannot close our Opportunity Gap. Isn't it time the United States Department of Education started focusing on equity in our schools?
Something deep inside my soul tells me bowing down to childhood makes so much more sense than crushing it.
Jesse The Walking Man Turner
If you want to know what the Walking Man is listening to today on his walk...its Barry Lane "Know your higher self" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-i872w3D2w