With so much talk and money thrown at school reform, we should heed the advice in Daniel Pinkâ€™s best selling book ,”Drive, the Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.” According to Pink, “The secret to high performance and satisfactionâ€”at work, at school, and at homeâ€”is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.â€ Think for a moment about what that means for teachers, for site principals, and for students.
The iconic Helen Keller once famously stated, â€œThe most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision.â€ With respect to solving our education crisis, politicians and policy experts call for all sorts of accountability measures and rating metrics. But no one is asking the really big question, â€œWhat is our mission?
Over the last several months, the committee has focused on unintended consequences of federal and state accountability policies that rate schools on multiple choice/standardized tests heavily weighted toward Reading and Math. While useful in surfacing the disparities in performance of subgroups, alignment of practice to these high stakes metrics have too often narrowed the curriculum to whatâ€™s tested and, to the detriment of Long term English Learners and others, have resulted in practices which do not prepare them for the next level of college and/or career readiness.
The fact that we are entering a period of limited government hopefully does not mean we are entering a period of limited oversight of governance. The recent walkout by Garden Grove Unified School District Trustee KimOanh Nguyen Lam over an alleged violation of the Brown Act by her fellow board members is a strong case in point.
While our local districts are comprised of well intentioned, highly educated and reflective leaders who are doing their best to find resources to fill the budget shortfall, we are perplexed that some districts (60% state-wide) agreed to submit a â€œMemorandum Of Understandingâ€ with the Governorâ€™s Office to participate in Californiaâ€™s application for the federal Race to the Top (RTTT) competitive grant program.
My son, Ethan, attends Raymond Elementary in Fullerton and last night was “Movie Night.” It was raining very hard and I told him that there probably wouldn’t be anyone coming, but to my surprise and his delight, the cafeteria was packed. Kindergartners were huddled with their parents in sleeping bags and the big kids sat…
What would happen if the entire University of California shut down? There would be 262,845 students without a college to attend. Thatâ€™s a quarter of a million students who no longer have the grasp of higher education within their reach. This number represents the amount of actual students that may be turned down by California…