Friday, September 16, 2011

In the Washington Post, David Cohen blogs about why education reform keeps failing

Tags: cohen, digital signage, expertise, policy, teaching and learning

In a September 16, 2011, post on the Washington Post website, David Cohen writes about the disappointing track record of various education reforms in the United States. Using Washington D.C.'s teacher evaluation system as an example, Cohen says that lack of a national educational infrastructure (a national curricula and activities centered on teaching and learning of that curricula) make it both difficult to ascertain whether the reform is truly beneficial and difficult to impliment widely.

He writes: "A coherent educational infrastructure in the United States could enable valid judgments about the quality of teaching and learning and about which teachers do a better job of helping students learn. If teachers and students used common curricula, for example, they would have more equal chances to teach and learn. Teachers could have meaningful opportunities to learn to teach the common curriculum in preservice or later professional education. And there could be assessments of students’ learning that were valid for the common curriculum, so students could have less unequal chances to be tested on what they were supposed to have been taught. Reform should aim to build these key elements of infrastructure, and build educators’ capability to use it well."

David Cohen is John Dewey Collegiate Professor, School of Education; and professor, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

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