Monday, February 16, 2009

Schools too broken to fix?

After reading the article How the “Cons” Are Destroying Public Education written by Thom Hartmann,, I was alarmed and appalled at the statistics regarding adult literacy. It is hard to imagine that 5% of adults are not literate in English, 14% of the population have “below basic” reading skills, and 44% have “intermediate” prose skills. The cons’ solution to all of this is to privatize education; that the public school system is too broken to fix. I beg to differ.

We need to radically and drastically change the way we are teaching, and do it fast. I agree that education is an investment; and we need to start investing local, state, and federal monies today. Pre-K programs are essential, as well as literacy programs for our adults and youth. One size certainly does not fit all. Why aren’t we examining demographics, cultural, and ethnocentrism's when we are examining standardized exams and differentiating based on the data and feedback we receive? How are we measuring 21st Century Skills our students must acquire? How are schools using technology to reach ALL learners? How do teachers engage their students and create a love and passion for learning? How are we breaking down the digital divide? There are many more measures that nobody is discussing….

I’m not sure what the exact formula or solution is for this huge dilemma our country is faced with; however, I do know that we need to work together. Collaboration and communication is key. Inquiry-based, student-centered, and project-based learning activities, enriched with technology, all have to be present in our schools. Teachers who motivate and engage our students, along with parents and community who consistently support them have to be present in our successful education institutions.

1 comment:

  1. Great observation and thoughts. One issue in technology use in schools, I feel, is the imbalance of hardware and software ratio, that is, too much money spent on hardware and too little on software, for instance, I read a report about the laptop program in Alexandria county of Virginia, over 52m spent for the laptops and something like only a quarter of a million on everything else related to the technology. Which likely means the hardware is substantially under utilized. I'm not sure of the thought process of many top technology officials in the education space.

    Don Li


When I grow up...