Do U.S. schools really need to be disrupted?

June 23, 2016
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America’s Not-So-Broken Education System

Do U.S. schools really need to be disrupted?

by JACK SCHNEIDER | The Atlantic

Everything in American education is broken. Or so say the policy elites, from the online learning pioneer Sal Khan to the journalist-turned-reformer Campbell Brown. As leaders of the XQ project succinctly put it, we need to “scrap the blueprint and revolutionize this dangerously broken system.”

This, they explain, is the sad truth. The educational system simply stopped working. It aged, declined, and broke. And now the nation has a mess on its hands. But there’s good news, too. As Michelle Rhee’s group, StudentsFirst, declares: Americans can “work together to fix this broken system.” All it takes is the courage to rip it apart.

This is how the argument goes, again and again. The system used to work, but now it doesn’t. And though nobody inside schools seems to care, innovators outside the establishment have developed some simple solutions. The system can be rebuilt, reformers argue. But first it must be torn down.

American education has some obvious shortcomings. Even defenders of the schools can make long lists of things they’d like to change. But the root of the problem is not incompetent design, as is so frequently alleged. Nor is it stasis. Rather, it is the twofold challenge of complexity and scale. American schools are charged with the task of creating better human beings. And they are expected to do so in a relatively consistent way for all of young people. It is perhaps the nation’s most ambitious collective project; as such, it advances slowly.My Take

There is indeed an orthodoxy in the school reform movement. Public private partnerships are not part of the reformer’s agenda. Nothing but the total undoing and replacement of public education will satisfy them. They have no idea what the consequences of destroying this institution would be to the nation.

My Take

There is indeed an orthodoxy in the school reform movement. Public private partnerships are not part of the reformer’s agenda. Nothing but the total undoing and replacement of public education will satisfy them. They have no idea what the consequences of destroying this institution would be to the nation. -Mark