Monday, August 27, 2012

Is That All There Is?

Jonathan Schorr:

The “reform” side, as it’s been called over the past several years (there are worse labels), is not monolithic, but is generally applied to those of us who, roughly speaking, believe education will be improved by:

  • accountability for student learning at many levels—school systems, schools, and teachers
  • public school choice, especially charter schools
  • disruptive innovation, meaning new, ultimately more effective and/or efficient ideas and processes that offer alternatives to, and ultimately disrupt, established processes
  • Alternative, entrepreneurial routes for teacher preparation (examples range from Teach For America to Relay Graduate School of Education)
  • the participation of entrepreneurial organizations, nonprofit and for-profit, that bring innovative approaches, autonomy and accountability to solving key problems in public education
  • commitment to a core belief that public schools can make a major difference in life trajectories in low income communities

That's incredibly handwavy for a decade-plus old movement. Also, quite incomplete when viewed from the perspective of an urban school district. We're not exactly rolling in autonomy here. Or accountability for those "entrepreneurial organizations."

Also, that's a terrible definition of "disruptive innovation." How is it different than the generic definition of "innovation?"

INNOVATION! is not a plan.

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