Wednesday, December 20, 2006

To fix US schools, panel says, start over |

To fix US schools, panel says, start over | "What if the solution to American students' stagnant performance levels and the wide achievement gap between white and minority students wasn't more money, smaller schools, or any of the reforms proposed in recent years, but rather a new education system altogether?

That's the conclusion of a bipartisan group of scholars and business leaders, school chancellors and education commissioners, and former cabinet secretaries and governors. They declare that America's public education system, designed to meet the needs of 100 years ago when the workplace revolved around an assembly line, is unsuited to today's global marketplace. Already, they warn, many Americans are in danger of falling behind and seeing their standard of living plummet."

There are obviously systemic design flaws in the schools system as it stands today. There are many movies and books out there about amazing teachers changing a school, but always after the teacher leaves the school reverts to the norm. Something more substantial needs to be done.

The graphic at the end of the report is an amazing thing to behold. While it looks like there has been a recent upswing in reading scores if you work the math it is only a 3% change, that is the typical margin of error. Statistically speaking, there has been no change in reading scores over the past 20 years even with a ~75% increase the money spent on the topic.

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