The History and Future of Public Education in the US

The concept of history repeating itself is an interesting notion when considering what the future may hold for public education. Right now, in the United States, I would say that Public Education is in quite a precarious position. Let’s take a look at our past to see if we can predict what might be in store for the future of public education. Public education, as we know it, was created by the Committee of 10 during the industrial revolution. This committee used three major organizational systems of its time to help create public education: the factory, the church, and the prison system. The committee took from the factory the orderly rows, 40 minute schedule with breaks, identical outcomes and an assembly line mentality with no need for creativity or “outside the box” thinking. The jail brought us punishment with no thought of learning through consequence, top down, heavy handed management with order and conformity. The church gave us our teaching style- the lecture. The church also gave us the concept of “sit quietly and listen and I will tell you everything you need to know”. It taught us that there is only one person that holds all the knowledge and Read More …

Coming Spring 2017! The Future Ready Challenge by Dr. Rob

Dr. Rob’s newest book, The Future Ready Challenge, published by ISTE will be out in just a few months. “Future Ready” is an 18 week challenge that will help educators create a classroom/school that is based on skills for the future. Consider it a self-help book for those who need that jump start into 21st century teaching. Here’s a sneak peak at the cover as well as some advance reviews…. The Future Ready Challenge by Rob Furman has given us a sure plan to begin addressing twenty-first century skills into daily lessons. The strategies provided are easy to integrate into the content areas and the scaffolding that is suggested will begin to imbed these skills in the planning and delivery of instruction. Time to move away from the old delivery model of education to one that is preparing our young people to be successful and to be contributors in the technology driven society in which they will be members. – Len Ference In his latest success, Dr. Furman accurately outlines the elements critical to 21st century learning. In this work, he provides an accessible way for any teacher to make the critical shift from teacher-centered, knowledge-based teaching to student-centered, skills-based Read More …

Warning: Has Educational Accountability Become a Political Pawn?

The word accountability is an extraordinarily powerful word. No one will ever argue the need for educators to be held accountable for their actions or deeds. But, what happens when you are being held accountable to a moving target? What happens when your standard of accountability continues to change? Think of education as a journey. You set your GPS for your destination, but when you get to the destination, you discover that you are in the wrong place because the destination has been changed. Has accountability become a political pawn? Many years ago the No Child Left Behind Act was all about accountability and testing. And we hold schools accountable for meeting the standards. There — we set an historic goal, and that is — every child should learn to read and do math at grade level by 2014. George Bush In theory everything that was being said made sense and was a great rallying cry for educating all our students. The nation wanted the educational system to be held accountable for the education of all students. Who could not agree with that statement? Testing became the medium for determining if the schools were doing their jobs. The key to Read More …

21st Century Parent: Take Back the Power

“You call your two-year-old to come here, he says no. If I can’t control that, I might as well hang it up. You call him; he says no, you go get him. That’s YES.” Bill Cosby Parenting has changed so much over the years. It has gone from a benevolent dictatorship “what the parent says goes. Period, end of discussion.” Now it is, “let’s get the child’s opinion before we make this major life altering decision”. I am not condoning either parenting style. However, as a person who is continually working with parents and children I can tell you that it is time for the parents to regain the power. Parents, it is time to remember what the position of being a parent means. There are 10 core standards for parents that every parent should review. 21st-Century-Parenting-Magazine 1 Make education a priority over extra­ curricular activities. There is a very slim chance your child is not going to be the next sports star 2 Help your children with their homework. If it is too hard for you, find someone who can help. 3 Create ”Teachable Moments” for your children. 4 Support your child’s teachers. If you disagree with them, discuss Read More …

The Top 2 Myths About Using Apps in Education

The app invasion sweeping education is crazy and the benefits for student learning are staggering. However, there are several myths that need to be dispelled about apps in education. If we continue to let these myths be thought of as fact then we will not only waste some of the greatest changes in educational history but we will hurt the future of our students. Myth #1 I would rather my child use education apps than play video games. At first, this statement sounds rather good. But after thinking about it, this is all wrong. A good educational app should feel like a video game. Video games are OK to play and should have an educational component. I agree that there is a LOT of video games out there that are not worth the time. But in terms of educational apps, there are a host of great games that teach a lot. For example, there is a bridge building game that teaches about engineering. The game Words with Friends is excellent for vocabulary development. The game 2058 is a great game to explain multiplication. There are a lot of great video games that are teaching our children as they are having Read More …