The number of topics relevant to education reform is huge. So I hope you will find it helpful to start with the who, what, when, why and how education reform went wrong.
Who was behind the education reform agenda of the last three decades including No Child Left Behind (NCLB)? The obvious answer is the president who signed the bill into law, George W. Bush. But there is much more to that story.
The main characters included:
- Senator Lamar Alexander is featured in many blogs including Wrong is Wrong
- Marc Tucker is the man behind the curtain of outcome-based reform —the guiding principle behind NCLB (now called the Every Student Succeeds Act) and a good introduction to his work is America’s Choice. Hillary Clinton is part of the story also.
- A number of players all in the room together —literally—in 1986 put the plan together. They comprise the Education Oligarchy… Who decided, talked choice, called for stiff accountability, and used the public to execute their plan.
- For more of a historical overview, I recommend the 30 Years Adrift series (links found here).
What was proposed?
- Accountability: No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Accountability was a bad joke on the nation that hung over us unchanged from 2001 to 2015. The new law signed by President Obama on 12/10/15 called the Every Student Succeeds Act does not change the problems created by NCLB.
- Flexibility: This is an outright “messaging” word. It was used in the NCLB law to stir the public’s emotions. Flexibility…think freedom…and follow it with the word “choice.” It became an obscure concept in the law and was meant to be flexibility of funding while it should have been flexibility in testing as President Obama once seemed to understand.
- Choice: Do we thoroughly understand “choice”? The public’s choice must be an informed one if we ever wish to get out from under the crushing weight of education reforms gone wrong. And if you don’t understand how the word “choice” was used to sell charter schools as a product, you need to read or re-read about how the education oligarchy used us.
(Note: helping you find your way on this site is a work in progress…I’ll be back to lead you through more of the what, when, why and how education reform went wrong…until then, a search by topic will help and please don’t hesitate to ask me for help at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is more to consider….
Federal education law became my primary focus but other topics in education caught my attention and at times raised my hackles.
The Common Core Controversy has certainly held the attention of the nation.
But forgotten by many, and unknown by most, is the Community Education Movement. As This movement had been in motion since the 1930’s and in my research for the second edition of my book, I was led to believe by the evidence I uncovered that the movement was very influential in the writing of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act. And in the two decades that followed that law, we saw huge progress in education. But as I write this tonight, the thought just occurred to me that about the time the movement began to wane, the achievement gap in the country began to widen again….Coincidence?The community education concept is still alive today.
And it is one of the many solutions I stumbled upon. Embrace solutions no matter where they are found.
I hope you will take some time to explore this website and find something of value to you. Contact me if you have any questions or are looking for sources of information.