We are bombarded with media stories and reports about the demise of the American education system. State legislatures have moved to letter grades to share with communities their school performance on standardized assessments.
I am blessed to converse with and listen to the many of best know education reformers. These are great minds talking about serious issues, but I think they are missing the boat.
Here is my problem . . . much of what we do in public schools is working well for some of our students. Traditional public education isn’t terrible and it certainly isn’t failing all students. Our public schools have been the backbone of the strongest economy in the world for generations.
As educators – as innovators in education – we must look at education challenges through a different lens. We must personalize education for each student. For those students that are excelling in our classrooms today, those students that graduate from our schools and excel at the next level, we mustn’t abandon the system in which they excel.
We must identify those students that need something different. We must identify those students for whom the system is failing, and we must create different learning environments and opportunities for them. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Education must be personal.
We can’t abandon what is successful for many – we must look to continually improve. Education reformists can’t attempt to fix all problems with a single approach; it may be good politics, but its poor practice.
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