Defending Public Education in the United States

2013-03-11 15.35.00I have tested thousands of students in my lifetime. Testing  provides useful information, showing students and teachers  students knowledge. Scores can be used to diagnose learning problems. Test scores form a part of the equation not the whole equation.  Over reliance on  test scores create more problems than it solves for students, teachers, and schools.  We restrict the curriculum to what is tested, cheating students out of a well rounded education or lowering standards to inflate scores. School districts across the nation have been reduced the time available for the arts, physical education, history, civics, and other nontested subjects.  This does not improve education and  teaches the wrong long term lesson..

No nation in the world  eliminated poverty by firing teachers or by handing its public schools over to private managers; nor does research support such tactics. The new   school reformers, Wall Street hedge fund managers, foundation officials, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and policymakers, consist of too  few experienced educators.

The new reformers lack the balance which seasoned educators provide. The reformers’ detachment from the GE DIGITAL CAMERAreality of providing education for all and their disregard for research allow them to ignore the important influence of families and poverty. The United States, the largest and  most successful economy in the world, owes this success  to public school which  educated 90 percent of Americans.

Finland borrowed many of its most valued ideas from the United States, such as GE DIGITAL CAMERAequality of educational opportunity, individualized instruction, portfolio assessment, and cooperative learning. Finland borrowed the work of  John Dewey.  Finland’s  teacher preparation program forms  the core of  school reform . Eight universities  prepare teachers for a  highly competitive program:. Future teachers  enter the University with a strong academic background. Every candidate prepares to teach all  students, Every teacher must complete an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in education. Teaching is a respected and prestigious profession .  Every teacher is well prepared. Teachers enter the profession with a sense of purpose. We can recapture this spirit in the United States.

American teachers face the most diverse group of students in the world. They face students from all 2011-11-22 09.51.56socioeconomic, racial, religious, and nationalities. The U.S.  attracts more immigrants than any country in the world. These students educated at the public expense span the full range of academic achievement. I don’t see any other country with such a multicultural that has achieved the level of success. We don’t need to follow Finland or Japan or Korea who followed us. We need to continue to innovate and create.

 

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Defending Public Education in the United States

  1. “Defending Public Education in the United States | stcarriesclassroom” was a splendid posting,
    cannot wait to look at much more of ur blog posts.
    Time to spend numerous time on the web lol. Thanks for your effort
    -Marguerite

  2. Darleana,
    I concur with your comments that the U.S. should focus on its strengths, proven pedagogies, theories, strategies and abilities to innovate and transform what may not be working in some schools.
    Looking at the successes experienced in other countries (Finland, Singapore, Korea, Japan – where the culture has been relatively uniform for centuries) can provide us some ideas, but may not respond to the needs of a diverse community where many teachers often work.
    I have personally understood the need to understand the local community’s culture(s) and needs to determine which strategies to employ to reach students and their families. Teachers and administrators have to collaborate and be effective communicators, excellent listeners, content matter experts and creative in order to create school experiences where students are engaged and choose to be in school or participate in activities which advance their skillsets for success as adult citizens.
    Thanks for sharing your concerns.

  3. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

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