My initial act as dictator of the United States of America is to make illegal joining together the two words –education and reform. During the past twenty years education in America has unreformed every intelligent effort that arose from the 1960s. Instead, we have a school system that is closer in model to 1912 than to 2012:
1. Schools are still hierarchal in structure with orders coming from above down to those below.
2. The curriculum of a 2012 school displays a remarkable resemblance to that of a school in 1912.
3. Students sit at desks in 2012 just as they sat in desks in 1912. The main reform in the classroom was ending ink wells and introducing pens.
4. There still are the same 1912 “tests”at the end of the week in which students regurgitate what they memorized from the week’s work.
5. I admit we no longer use the expression, “black board” and now term it a “smart board.” Of course, both boards still list information students should copy.
6. In 1912, the goal was preparing students for life in an industrial world. In 2012 the goal is preparing students for life in an industrial world which no longer exists.
7. In 1912, schools were under the jurisdiction of non-teachers who called themselves, a “School Board.” In 2012, schools are under the jurisdiction of non-teachers who call themselves a “School Board.”
8. In 1912, teachers were under-paid, in 2012, they are under-paid.
9. In 2012, about one third of students do not graduate from high school– very similar to problems in 1912.
10. So, what is this “reform of education” that fills the media?