November 22nd was “blog for education reform” day. The goal was to have many people blog about education reform to allow many different views and opinions to be heard across the country. I just found out about this effort so I am now going to contribute my two cents to the national discussion.
I have stated earlier in this blog that education must move away from reform and move toward transformation. Transformation must be a local decision based on local needs considering local sensibilities. Public education is too important for community sustainability for educators not to consider “radical” ideas within the system. I think right now the most radical idea would seem to be that local control is not only important, but essential. The educational policy landscape is overwhelmed with national and state initiatives that are being force-fed to local communities; a good exemple is a national curriculum. NCLB, Race to the Top, data collection schemes all tear control of the schools away from the local communities. I understand that there is a role for the Federal and State governments in education. After all, basic civil right must be protected and local communities (at least in the past) at times may not want to honor those rights. However, I am concerned that our children are being cheated from an enriching curriculum when schools are forced to implement a curriculum produced and created for a national audience. Where is the local relevance for students? Just some thoughts of mine.