I just don’t get it. I have been anticipating President Obama’s Education plan with hope that we build upon the good things of No Child Left Behind and implement new standards and policies that will take our education system to the next level.
Over the weekend I read an article highlighting some of the changes coming with the so called:”new plan.”
What follows are the highlights (or lowlights as I prefer).
A few other highlights from the blueprint: PLEASE SEE MY COMMENTS FOLLOWING EACH PARAGRAPH.
• By 2020, all students graduating from high school would need to be ready for college or a career. That's a shift away from the current law, which calls for all students to be performing at grade level in reading and math by 2014.
qg says… This is not a shift this is mumble jumble bureaucratic talk. Both laws are result measures that have no plans or methods attached as to how they will be accomplished. People should avoid using the word “All.” Give me a method and tell me the process measures that will be implemented with the new guidelines (this does need mean after the fact ASSESSMENTS).
• Give more rewards -- money and flexibility -- to high-poverty schools that see big gains in student achievement and use them as a model for other schools in low-income neighborhoods that struggle with performance.
qg says… Money is always the solution for politicians and bureaucrats. Please understand money is not a means or a motivator that will solve the education problem. When will someone implement guidelines that hold parents, teachers and administrators responsible and accountable for education?
• Punish the lowest-performing 5% of schools using aggressive measures, such as having the state take over federal funding for poor students, replacing the principal and half the teaching staff or closing the school altogether.
qg says… Check this out. Read the next paragraph where Duncan states that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is harsh and that punishes schools. Now read where the new plan calls for get this “PUNISHING” low performing schools using aggressive measures (oh by the way I bet these will be “result” measures (after the fact measures) AAAGH!!
• Duncan has said the name No Child Left Behind will be dropped because it is associated with a harsh law that punishes schools for not reaching benchmarks even if they've made big gains. He said the administration will work with Congress to come up with a new name.
Amy Wilkins, a vice president with the Education Trust in Washington, D.C., called the blueprint a "culture shift."
qg says ... Culture Shift??? We need a Paradigm Shift!!!
"One of the things America has not been clear about is what K-12 is supposed to do," Wilkins said. "In this, we're saying K-12 is supposed to prepare kids for college and meaningful careers."
qg says … Take a look at the last quote and paragraph. Ms. Wilkins please tell me this is a miss quote or not explained well enough because if you are saying America has not been clear what k-12 is then we are doomed. This is a ridiculous statement and if this is thinking of the Education Trust folks in Washington then I have no trust we will ever solve our education woes.
p/s - I will gladly recant any of my remarks once the complete plan is published.
Here is the link for the "Blueprint for Reform (Currently Reviewing).
UPDATE - 3/16/10
I have finished reviewing the 42 page Blueprint Document and I stand by my comments above. "Fluff" is the word that most comes to my mind as I read the proposals.
There are many "Whats" but not much mention of "Hows" or by what method will these changes among Federal, State & Districts will take place.
On Page 42 the heading says "Measuring Success" - As I feared above these are "Result" (After the Fact) measures that take two years to determine if key indicators are "effective" (Another word the proposal uses that means after the fact).
I was looking for "efficiency" and Process Measures that are required to measure such things as "Key Indicators" as the implementation process is working (While the Train is Moving) not at the end of the trail (Back the Train up and go back and correct),
Oh Well - HUH!!!