Tough choices? Not for our lawmakers. They never entertained the alternative to the Tucker plan so they had no real choices to make. Tough times? Yes, especially for those of us that had kids in impoverished districts while this cow manure came down on us.
Susan Ohanian can tell you all about the High-Powered Panel that put together and endorsed the 2006 release of another creation from Marc Tucker’s think tank, National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE). This one was labeled – Tough Choices or Tough Times. Same theory, same plan, new wording.
In “Tough Choices,” a dozen or so problems were identified. Then, the Tucker gang offered 10 steps necessary to development of their system. I’ll just use the first one to demonstrate the problem I see with “the think” coming out of this tank.
Step 1: Assume that we will do the job right the first time.
That is a great statement. Totally agree. Details?
The Tucker Plan: Create a set of Board Examinations based on a set of standards set at the “expectations” that are “no lower than the standards for entering community colleges in the state without remediation.”
Common Core Controversy followers; does that sound familiar?
Just a Parent’s Plan (mine): Let’s assume “we must do things right the first time; let’s call it the ‘R rule.’
We must be wiser in choosing how we educate. We are obliged to consider the potential effect our decisions have on children before we put them into action in the classroom. And we have got to receive feedback and take it seriously. It’s time to acknowledge that what we do in first grade sets the stage for the reading, writing, and math skills children need for the rest of their lives. Our actions need to speak to that fact. Mistakes can be devastating” (The Crucial Voice, page 12).
“First grade must be a successful experience for all children. The only way to ensure success ‘happens’ for all is with proper guidance and personalized attention to the learning and developmental needs of the child. That will only be accomplished through exceptional, specially trained teachers in small classes” (page 90).
Tough Choice? For parents, I don’t think so.
What I hope is that our toughest times in education reform are now behind us.