Monday, April 30, 2007

Tom Watkins: Nice Beat, But Can Our Schools Dance To It?

Tom Watkins, former State Superintendent of Schools in Michigan, has been a vocal agent for reform since his days at the helm of Michigan's schools.

He continues to keep his finger on the pulse of education, as shown in this article for CHANGE! - Nice Beat But Can Our Schools Dance To It? (04/30/07)

This particular article is full of worthwhile nuggets:

* It is pure fallacy to think that public education can be sustained, let alone thrive, with the old rules of the past.

* Public educators often talk of change, but quickly revert to the comfort of the past once external pressure is relieved.

* Those in public education need to continually ask if our system of education has become so fixated on owning old ideas that it has become a liability.

* Our school leaders need to ask these questions: "If we could create a system that would provide our children with the education they deserve and need to be competitive in the 21st century, global economy, would we create the system that currently exists? "Are all the schools in your state good enough for your child?" If the answers are "no" then every waking hour needs to be devoted to bringing about the necessary changes to create the system they need. Rest assured, the three billion new capitalists in China, Russia, India and other emerging nations are not sitting back waiting for us to get our act together.

The real question is what do you do with wonderful articles like this? Those that believe in reform already "get it", and don't need to spend valuable time reading what they already know. However, those that do need to read this, those that could benefit from it the most, refuse to even consider this type of talk. They believe that the education system doesn't need to change, or has already changed enough. Unfortunately, they seem to be in the majority.

In the end, the change needs to begin with the vast majority of school boards that are satisfied with the status quo.

==> Mike.

No comments: