Monday, October 24, 2011
Steven Brill on How to Fix Public Schools: Hold Educators Accountable
Steven Brill said it perfectly and says this in his book as well, that Public Education is the only profession in America. Where the professionals are judged but how long they've been doing their jobs. Rather then how good they do their jobs and hits the nail on the head. Thats exactly what doesn't work with Public Education and if we fix that, we'll fix our Public Schools. If we don't fix that, we won't fix our Public Schools. Twenty years ago America was in the top ten in the World in education, we fell so far within just ten years. That President Bush and Congress decided we needed to reform our Public Schools. Education Reform was one of the important issues of the 2000 Presidential Campaign. In 2002 Congress passed a Bi Partisan Education Reform Law called No Child Left Behind. That was passed in a Republican House and a Democratic Senate. Written at the time by Sen. Ted Kennedy Chairman of the Education Committee and at the time Rep. John Boehner Chairman of the Senate Committee in the House. And of course later Minority Leader and now today Speaker of the House John Boehner. And ten years later we are now 39th in the World in education, NCLB didn't fix the problems with Public Education. Because it was about testing students and educators to a certain extent and passing Unfunded Mandates down to the States. In order to pass these things and tell them what they believe they needed to do.
NCLB is not about how you reform Public Schools especially if your the Federal Government. That has very little role in running schools if any, they are mostly about enforcing the Constitution and funding to a small extent as well as research. The way to reform Public Education in America if your the Federal Government, is to look to see how States and School Districts. Are doing and what works and doesn't work for them and then try to incentivize not mandate what does work. And then the States and School Districts can decide what works for them in their community, because all Schools Districts are different. And then the States and School Districts can do what works for them and help them finance that. The US Department of Education does a very good job of researching what works and doesn't work in Public Education. And to a certain extent can lay out a vision of what we can do as a country in Public Education. But they are bad at mandating, because they don't know what exactly would work for every School District. How could they, they are not there. So they can help with suggestions and incentives instead and let the School Districts decide for themselves.
One thing that does work in education that we haven't been doing for the most mart. Is Educator Accountability, having educators teach what they are qualified to teach and are well trained in. And then pay them for their Quality of Service not Time of Service and eliminating things like Teacher Tenure. Which basically makes it impossible to fire poor educators once they've served a certain amount of time. And instead pay the good educators more and give the High Qualified educators higher benefits and starting pay. And either retrain the Low Performing educators, suspend without pay or fire them. And encourage well educated people to go into education and teach in Under Served Communities.
If we moved to a Public Education System in America thats based on accountability, just started there and see where that goes. Just doing that, we could go a long way in finally reforming our Public Education System. That we have to do in order to have a strong economy in the future. And create good jobs and keep good jobs at home.