Reforms That Don’t
To create a great education system, begin by
chipping away at the myths, lies, and nonsense.
Gene V Glass and David C. Berliner
Asculptor was once asked how he could start with a big block of marble and create a beautiful statue of a horse. The answer: “I just take my hammer and chisel, and I knock off everything that doesn’t look like a horse.”
Teachers, administrators, and school boards in the United States today are
buried under a heavy stone block of mandates and laws. Politicians, hedge
fund managers, and heirs to big-box retailing fortunes are telling educators
how to create “world class” schools—but their vision of “world class” appears
to mean chiefly high test scores and questionable notions of economic
competitiveness. These same influential people are silent about creating
schools designed to give children the values, knowledge, and motivation that
will enable them to form positive relationships, maintain a healthy lifestyle,
participate actively in our democracy, and pursue occupations that reward
them not just financially, but also spiritually and intellectually.
One way to promote those goals is to take up a hammer and a chisel and
knock off any proposed education reforms that don’t look like a great school.
Among a plethora of bad ideas being shoved at educators today, here are five
myths that we should knock off:
Myth 1. Cyberteaching is an efficient, cost-saving, and highly effective
means of delivering education.
Myth 2. School choice and competition work to improve all schools.