At school and district levels, managing scarce resources to sustain or improve results has never been more challenging. Striving for consistency and efficiency builds tensions between those who care most about equipping children for an uncertain future.
Increasingly critical eyes on the education system advocate blunt instruments like “stronger management”, more top-down management, tighter controls, and simple incentives. This is surprising since such methods are failing the private sector by dispiriting and limiting people’s contribution. So, why should we expect anything different in education?
This is aggravated by the economy. We simply don’t know what jobs will be there in twenty years. Today, apart from a few core skills we cannot know what knowledge or skills will be needed in the future.
The consequences are that teachers complain that their jobs, while rewarding, are getting harder because of too few resources, too much paperwork, crowded classrooms, students with emotional problems, low pay and high-stakes standardized tests.
Isn’t time to realign administrators, unions, teachers, parents and students? The realignment is from teaching a curriculum more efficiently, to one of inspiring lifelong learning to thrive in a rapidly shifting economy.
Here’s the case for realignment (more…)