Some Thoughts on the Education Reform Debate

On the eve of the President’s State of the Union, Dr. Wayne D. Lewis, Jr., penned these thoughts:

  1. I want to hear President Obama say that we must increase the number of high quality public school options available to parents. The president has been a supporter of increasing public school options for families in the past and I hope to hear that commitment reaffirmed tonight.
  2. I want to hear President Obama say that we do not currently have the necessary teaching and leadership capacity in our schools to prepare our children for 21st Century success; and that states must adopt a “by any means necessary” approach to getting teacher and school leader capacity to where it needs to be.
  3. I want to hear the president say that states must hold schools, teachers, and leaders individually and collectively accountable for student learning. I want him to say that schools where children do not learn are of no use to us. I want him to say when children do not learn, adults have to lose their jobs.
  4. I want to hear President Obama say that he will remain committed to the federal government providing financial supports and incentives for states that take bold steps toward implementing serious reform in their public schools; not the surface stuff that everyone likes, but really committing to going back to the drawing board to redesign systems so that all children can learn.

I was pretty happy reading this, because I believe the list represents evidence that my model of the education reform debate is accurate.

Dr. Lewis outlines the need for the Federal-Academic Complex and States, to cooperate in pushing education reform, which they are doing. He also observes that teachers are the primary obstacle to reform, which they are.

In another post, Dr. Lewis attacks several “lies” common among those who oppose education reform. His thoughts, with mine in italics, follow:

All in all, I’d have to say that Dr. Lewis is pretty smart!