• 21 July 2024
Real 21st Century Innovation in Public Education

Real 21st Century Innovation in Public Education

Dec 17, 2017

Are public schools a thing of the past? While the current US Secretary of Education may think so, others are saying: give public schools a real chance to succeed.

US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos regularly calls public education “a dead end” for failing to innovate strategies to improve student learning—something DeVos says private and charter schools will deliver. But for educators Deborah Meier and Emily Gasoi, investing in our public schools the right way holds the real key for innovating a 21st century education system.

Meier and Gasoi cite “a very long-standing privilege gap” between well-to-do public schools, with their wealthier tax base and higher-income families, and poorer public schools, which serve lower-income families and communities facing systemic issues like poverty and racism. The focus, say Meier and Gasoi, should move from top-down, standardized test-driven models to funding 21st century “site-based autonomy,” where educators and the community collaborate in making decisions that affect schools.

They boil down their recommendations to four democracy-building principles:

  1. Most decisions affecting a school should be made by the school’s community, including educators, students, and parents.
  2. School leadership should be chosen by the people they serve—that is, educators—and not the other way round.
  3. Schools should provide open access to data (except where privacy is a concern).
  4. Schools should be administered by regional governing boards to serve a geographic area of no more than 50,000 people.

Hey, tutors: where do you fit into the future of education? Can tutors innovate new models that support student learning outside of the classroom?

banner image from https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/devos-wants-to-delay-special-education-rule-intended-to-protect-minority-students/2017/12/15/62fd7970-e1d1-11e7-89e8-edec16379010_story.html

Here’s a model for major school reform that looks vastly different from Betsy DeVos’s vision https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/12/14/heres-a-model-for-major-school-reform-that-looks-vastly-different-from-betsy-devoss-vision

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