February 24, 2009

Rebranding our way to better schools

Our new Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, wants to fix our education woes by, wait for it:

“Let’s rebrand it,” he said in an interview. “Give it a new name.”

How about the We Still Don't Know How to Spend the Money Effectively Act?

That gets right at the heart of the matter. It also implies a solution: find out how to spend the money effectively.

This seems to me like the logical starting point. So, who knows of any federal programs with the goal of finding out what predictably works backed by evidence?


stacinyc said...

The Federal Government is currently funding a program called the Teacher Incentive Fund that looks to identify schools making dramatic gains and to create comprehensive case studies that can then be shared in an effort to replicate their success. New Leaders for New Schools, through this Federal initiative, has created the EPIC Knowledge System which compiles and shares, via an online platform, what works in underperforming, urban public schools. These professional development modules are not necessarily examples of "best practice"--since that has been done time and time again-- but instead depict what schools have done to quantitatively improve student achievement, responding to their unique local circumstances and requirements. Cases and profiles are intended to provide a forum for school leaders and staff to reflect on and discuss the school's strategies and approach and decide how the cases can help them improve their practice and, possibly, implement new practices.

There are a handful of initiatives out there making these discoveries...it's taking them to scale that is the challenge.

Malcolm Kirkpatrick said...

What's even less effective than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic? Renaming the deck chairs on the Titanic. Education bureaucrats, typically, vastly overestimate the power of words to affect material reality.

Anonymous said...

what a great topic of discussion. i recently watch a program on tv somewhere that showed present day kids being able to recognize their favorite tv characters over simple things like bananas and math signs. it is absolutely horrible. I still believe the foundation for education starts and finishes at home. Here is a resource that i found useful



Anonymous said...

Wrong cereal, Ken. You wanted Frosted Flakes:
American's public schools: They're Great!!!

Are you ready for Tony the Teacher(tm)?