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 …

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 …