The Huffington Post has a very cheery column here about a “summit” in Washington DC called “Empowering Education: Empowering Learning in a Connected World.” Here is a paragraph from the column:
“Each day, across this great nation, teachers, parents, mentors and community institutions are winning -- they are igniting students' passions, challenging their minds and illuminating their paths to success. The days of unequal access to high quality educators, schools in crisis and communities feeling powerless to support them are soon coming to an end.”
Oh, would it were true.
I wish I could be this optimistic but the reforms proposed and implemented so far—especially the common core curriculum and testing—seem, to me, to be working against the goal of improving education.
As an example, the renewed emphasis on STEAM courses—nice to see that “A” in there for the arts—leaves out the most critical component, which is turning kids into avid readers. Advanced reading skills are necessary for all of the STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, arts, math), and children only acquire sophisticated reading skills when they form a love and habit of reading.