Over at his blog Droupout Nation, Rishawn Biddle has an interesting look into education reform that focuses on scale. He doesn’t think the goal of reform should be large scale change implemented by single entity, as he points out that every school can have a unique way of getting achievement. Therefore, the focus should on achievement and providing rigorous standards in achievement and teaching skills:
“Essentially, it isn’t important for every alternative teacher training operation to look like Teach For America; what is important is that they all provide high-quality teachers. It isn’t necessary for every school to function exactly like Urban Prep; it’s important for them to improve student achievement and make sure that all their students graduate. What is needed is a thousand flowers of high quality to bloom, not for all to look exactly alike. There will be different ways of getting there (even though there might be general concepts of what it should look like), but what is important is that the goal is met.”
But Andrew Rotherham at Eduwonk makes a good point. When he is talking about a large scale education reform take over by some entity, it’s not clear who he is aiming at:
“This isn’t to say that scale can’t be used in improving quality; expanding school data systems and applying Value-Added Assessment to teacher evaluations are two examples of using scale to improve quality. Even the expansion of school choice (through the expansion of high-quality charter schools and voucher programs) can address some aspects of quality. But for the rest of the problems in American public education, scale is not the answer.”
Check out both posts and let us know what you think here.