This quote puts an image of some strange machine (US education system) with cogs and pieces catching and misfiring, steaming, spitting out screws and parts, going haywire. Kaput!
As I read, what I really wanted was some sort of flowchart to explain who has what power from federal to state to local districts in order to analyze the broken machine a bit better.
Ken Robinson reminds us that reforming is amending something that already exists, while transforming turns it into something completely different. After reading Darling-Hammond, one learns that a main differences between the US and the “winning” countries is that we reform, and reform, and reform. And none of the changes stick--even when there are multiple major litigations that reveal the most obvious problems. Meanwhile, winning countries overhaul their systems and see the transformations through.
According to Darling-Hammond, a focus on the following practices have skyrocketed once “kaput” systems (Finland, Korea, and Singapore) into the lead in preparing their population for the 21st Century:
Ken Robinson seems to agree with Darling-Hammond with the added emphasis on individualized education, because no two learners are the same or have the same strengths.
Thinking and writing about these highlights in the content for this week helps me to process what I think about all of it: It seems like in the US, our system creates barriers rather than, as Ken Robinson says, “a climate of possibility.” I think of our schools like his analogy to Death Valley. Waiting for the right conditions to explode with growth. Can I make it rain in my classroom?
If the world of technology, our world, is already growing exponentially, we need a thunderstorm.
While I may not be in the position to control federal, state, or even district systems, there are a few things I can do from where I stand.
Meanwhile, in the time it took me to write this blog, 8,328,000 songs were illegally downloaded. I did the math.