These two words “status quo” are tossed around frequently and conjure up some raw emotions for many who have tried, unsuccessfully, to improve their own schools. “Status quo” invokes visions of entrenchment on the part of administration, school boards, teachers, or, on the “other side,” the unions, education establishment, the politically powerful foundations, organizations, individuals, corporations, and their lobbying groups who pull the strings of education policy.
But if we all put aside our personal feelings a moment and think strictly about the big picture of “education reform,” then, it becomes clear what the status quo of reform efforts really is. Status quo literally means the current state of affairs.
For three decades, our education reform strategy has been based on high-stakes standardized testing. It is The Theory Behind No Child Left Behind.
The ideology wars — progressives vs. traditionalists, whole language vs. phonics, unions vs. anti-unionists — and the ongoing blame games would be of miniscule significance if we were focusing on what is truly important in an education reform effort — educating children. The status quo of reform has failed them miserably.
The status quo of education reform is test-based education.