Common Sense Would Cure Most Problems in Education
Guerrieri, Chris, The Florida Times Union
Byline: CHRIS GUERRIERI
I am a big believer in the law of parsimony, which is the principle that entities should not be multiplied needlessly.
Others, however, may prefer the term "Ockham's razor," which says that the simplest of two or more competing theories is preferable and that an explanation for unknown phenomena should first be attempted in terms of what is already known.
But, actually, both of those are just fancy ways of saying that good old common sense should prevail, which is something sadly missing from our education system.
A BETTER SOLUTION
You want schools to do better, instead of reinventing the wheel and taking away what precious little time teachers have to make an impact by forcing them to do tedious and unnecessary things?
Why not give teachers the resources they need. Then, bring discipline back to the classroom.
Instead, teachers are told we must have our standards posted on our walls, something in my nine years of teaching no child has ever taken a look at, and we must have our classrooms uniform, with our classroom libraries labeled and our parent teacher logs and lesson plans easily accessible.
I teach at a "turnaround school," a fancy way of saying mostly minority and poor. Because of that, I was told all these things and a nearly endless list more had to be done.
State Department of Education representatives would visit, I was told, and if these things weren't done, a note would be placed in my permanent file; furthermore, my evaluation could suffer and I could even possibly lose my job.
The same thing was said to the entire faculty. Presumably, this same message was given to other "underperforming" schools.
I was also told that, during these walkabouts, they really wouldn't be interested in how I was teaching.
Say goodbye to innovation and creativity, as the Department of Education seems hell bent on eliminating those two things.
Soon, they may replace teachers with VCRs and a trained chimp to hit "play. …