Education Reform in America

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  • Primary mode of education = charity schoolFunded by governmental and religious organizationsBasic grammar schoolsLancaster schools show that schools need adult supervisionOlder children acting as disciplinary monitors were brutalMost English-speaking countries develop mandatory publicly paid education – keep education in "responsible" handsStarted as theoretical (why), progressive shift toward classical learning (who, what, where, when)
  • Schools only open for a few months/yearTeachers with little experience, little payChildren across America needed access to secular schoolsSet up in 1840s to protect against Irish Catholics and German immigrants in New York and ChicagoQuality varied greatly1890 – most local boards accept public schooling (not the South)Jacob Riis exposes New York classroomsFormed the basis for Progressive School movement
  • *relationships should be less disciplinary“The father of American public education”Traveled across Massachusetts arouse awareness and benefits of public educationBeliefs met with controversyMore personal, less disciplinary student-teacher relationshipsNon-mandatory bible studies in schoolsSchools open to students regardless of religion, race, or sexBring school districts under town authorityTraveled to Europe, impressed with the German school systemTried to implement Prussian educational system in AmericaEmphasis on language and national identitySecretary of Massachusetts Board of Education in 1837
  • School increasingly focused on technical/industrial training (thanks Dewey!)Land Grant College Act (Morrill Act)Art educationFewer American laborers, more immigrantsDifficulty meshing with modernized school systemCompulsory school attendance first established in 1852NCLC organized 1904Children need to experience adolescenceTechnology expends period of childhood learning into late teensCurriculums too repetitive
  • People differ in mental ability, schools’ duty to identify and nurture those differencesOpposed compulsory attendance because it “limited ability”Standardized testing would help determine abilitySchools should help immigrants to learn the English language and the customs of corporate America Educational assimilation for immigrantsWrote textbooks for teachers and administratorsWhen placed in public school, immigrant children will abandon Old World culture, pick up American ways
  • Junior high school program adoptedPsychological tests, vocational guidanceFewer local high schools, more large, centralized high schoolsCurricular differentiationSecondary schools vs. “normal” schoolsClassrooms separated by ageIncreased state and federal regulation (standardization)Much criticism – people learn in different ways (Piaget, Myers, Briggs)
  • Philosopher, educator, PragmatistLed the opposition to standardizationRecognized emotional, artistic, and creative aspects of human developmentHeavily influential from 1900-1940Argued for experimental educationChildren naturally active and curious“Learn by doing”Dewey School establishedCriticized “dead” educationMisunderstoodClose association with certain schools yielded harsh judgmentInfluence declined after Second World WarMore conservative education policies enactedToo costly
  • Civil Rights Reforms (1950s – 1970s)End of racial segregationBanning of school prayerA Nation at Risk (1980s)Ronald Reagan attempt to reduce/eliminate Department of EducationE.D. Hirsch responds – “cultural literacy”Still influential todayMost states and districts adopt Outcome-Based Education (OBE) in 1990squantitative instrument to assess if students knew required content/could perform required tasksNo Child Left Behind Act (2001)Help underprivileged children achieve same results as everyone elseMore standardized testingNo national standard, only state standards must be met
  • In Michigan, universities and prisons competing for shrinking state budgetsSmaller budgets  fewer programs for students (foreign languages, arts cut first)Students can’t afford to attend college  not qualified to get jobs62 percent of jobs will require a post-secondary education by 2018“We are spending more on a prisoner in one year than we are to help a Michigan student go to college for four years.” -Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders for MichiganThe future depends on education – it’s worked in North CarolinaSome states, notably North Carolina, choose to educate. North Carolina's economy is similar to Michigan's, but it spends much more on higher education. The University of North Carolina gets nearly four times as much state support per student as Michigan schools. As a result a four year degree costs in-state students $38,215 in Michigan but only $18,887 in North Carolina. Today, North Carolina and Michigan rank about even in economic performance. But 30 to 40 years ago, North Carolina lagged way behind, whereas Michigan led. Since then, North Carolina's investments and Michigan's disinvestments have leveled the playing field. North Carolina offers far more to support knowledge-based businesses that pay high wages and fuel the state's economy.
  • “"We can't keep subsidizing skyrocketing tuition. Colleges and universities need to do their part to keep costs down as well ... We are putting colleges on notice…”Cut funding for schools that raise tuition and shift money to universities that provide good value Split $1 billion among states whose colleges contain tuitionProposed "College Scorecard" publicly available informationgrade colleges based on total cost, graduation rates, and potential earnings
  • Want to hire “the highest-quality educators in the most cost-effective manner”Teachers actually earn more than skills would merit in other career fieldsSchool boards are wasting money giving everyone raisesMany teachers paid for qualifications, not qualityNew teachers struggle to find employment, but lots of veteran teachers receive tenureTenure = job security for teachers who have successfully completed a probationary period. The purpose is to protect good teachers from being fired for non-educational issues including personal beliefs, personality conflicts with administrators or school board members, etc. Young teachers accrue very little in benefits, but mid-career teachers around age 50 quickly begin to add very large sums to their pension wealthDiscourages potential teachers from entering education from fear of losing all pension benefits if they leaveEveryone wants a magical solution that will correct things forever – not gonna happen overnight people!
  • In February, Obama exempted 10 states from the requirements of “No Child Left Behind”“Take a careful look at the policies at the heart of NCLB, because they have not worked, [and] if they are not working, we need to change them." -Monty Neill, chair of the Forum on Educational Accountability (FEA)Emphasis on high-stakes tests is misguided, should be used more as a “sample”Alternatives? Consortium school method – draws focus away from tests  instead, literary essays, problem-solving math skills, original science experiments, research papersLearning record method - track each student's progress throughout the year (work samples, observational notes) and use that information to determine the best way to teach that student
  • Removes parents from decisions about content taught in children’s schoolsObama Administration wants to “nationalize” content taught in public schools across AmericaCommon Core Standards InitiativeNational standards for English and math, federally funded national assessments46 states already on board (maybe for the money?)ProblemsUnlikely to increase achievementNot responding to needs of familiesScores vary within states, nationalization won’t do anythingCostly – billions of dollars already invested, but states cant afford itQuestionable - designed specifically to meet CC standards
  • Scheduling flexibilityClassroom-like experience Videoconferencing Students log in daily to participate in instruction, turn in assignmentsTechnical proficiencyHard to tell if students grasp materialHonor system Tests, exams – if no proctor is available, how do you know?Easier?Up-close and personal Interact, ask questions, etc.Forced to focus Can’t pull upFacebook when teacher is watchingSocial factor Talking, interacting with people is importantMore rigorous?
  • Avoid Across-the-Board Pay IncreasesTeachers that perform better should receive higher payDistricts need to manage budgets more effecientlyPay Teachers for Their Performance, Not for Their ResumesMore is not necessarily better – a teacher with a BA and minimal experience can be just as good as one with a doctorate and 30 years of experienceAgain, determine who gets paid more based on their students’ performanceScreen Teachers More Intensely After Hiring Them It is too hard for new teachers to get hired, and too easy for veteran teachers to stay on with tenureTeachers get a trial period - reserve permanent positions for only the top 20 percent or so who perform best during their tryout period (Douglas O. Staiger and Jonah Rockoff from the Journal of Economic Perspectives)Discourages potential teachers from entering education from fear of losing all pension benefits if they leaveTransition Teachers from Traditional Pensions to 401(k)-Style PlansIncentives exist because teachers do not build up pension wealth smoothly as they progress through their careers. Young teachers accrue very little in benefits, but mid-career teachers around age 50 quickly begin to add very large sums to their pension wealth.Teachers may not know when to enter and when to exit the teaching profession401(k)-style DC plan, would provide retirement benefits to teachers that accrue at a constant rate each year – neutral towards entrance/exitMaintain Sober ExpectationsThings aren’t going to happen overnight!It’s going to take time, but these changes can happen if we persevere and push for change
  • TestingConsortium school method – draws focus away from tests  instead, literary essays, problem-solving math skills, original science experiments, research papersLearning record method - track each student's progress throughout the year (work samples, observational notes) and use that information to determine the best way to teach that studentFundingCut funding for schools that raise tuition and shift money to universities that provide good valueProposed "College Scorecard" publicly available informationgrade colleges based on total cost, graduation rates, and potential earningsStates should have more control – federal government can still play a role, but testing and curriculum should be the responsibility of the stateAbandon No Child – ““Take a careful look at the policies at the heart of NCLB, because they have not worked, [and] if they are not working, we need to change them."
  • Too much?Will people be overwhelmed by sweeping change?SkepticismPeople may be skeptical – if they believe it won’t change, they won’t support itLegislationSignificant legislation would be needed to shift power from federal government to statesMajor challenge: impatienceChange takes timePeople aren’t willing to wait - want dramatic changes in too little timeExtra costs would not be too significant – most state boards have enough money, just not budgeted correctlyMay have to employ financial analysts – extra $
  • Education Reform in America

    1. 1. EDUCATION REFORM IN AMERICA A STUDY OF CURRENT ISSUESAnna PriddyU.S. History, Blue 1
    2. 2. History
    3. 3. Roots of American Education Primary mode of education = charity Moor’s school charity Lancaster schools school in Hartford, (England) show that CT schools need adult supervision Started as theoretical learning  progressive shift toward classical learning Joseph Andrew Bell
    4. 4. Major Events in Education, 1800s • Young Ladies Academy opens1787 • Bill of Rights created1791 • Connecticut Asylum at Hartford for the Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons opens1817 • The state of Massachusetts passes a law requiring towns of more than 500 families to have a1827 public high school open to all students • The New England Asylum for the Blind opens1829 • The first of William Holmes McGuffeys readers is published1836 • Horace Mann becomes Secretary of the newly formed Massachusetts State Board of1837 Education; first students arrive at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary • First “normal school” opens1839
    5. 5. Major Events in Education, 1800s • Samuel Gridley Howe helps establish the Experimental School for Teaching and Training Idiotic Children1848 • Elizabeth Blackwell graduates from Geneva Medical College1849 • Massachusetts enacts the first mandatory attendance law. By 1885, 16 states have compulsory-attendance1852 laws, but most of those laws are sporadically enforced at best. All states have them by 1918 • Boston Public Library opens to the public, Ashmun Institute is founded1854 • First kindergarten in the U.S. is started1856 • The National Teachers Association is founded1857 • Charles Darwins The Origin of Species is published1859 • The First Morrill Act becomes law1862
    6. 6. Problems in the Late 1800s  Length of school year  Teachers underpaid, under qualified  Religion invades learning – need secular schools  1890 – most local boards accept public schooling (not the South)  Jacob Riis exposes New York classrooms  Roots of Progressive movement
    7. 7. Horace Mann “The father of American public education” Promoted public education  Beliefsmet with controversy  European influence Secretary of Massachusetts Board of Education in 1837
    8. 8. The Progressive Era School increasingly focused on technical/industrial training (thanks Dewey!) Fewer American laborers, more immigrants Compulsory school attendance first established in 1852 Children need to experience adolescence
    9. 9. AssimilationEdward Thorndike: EducationalPsychology (1903) E.P. Cubberley Differences in mental  Educational ability assimilation for Opposed compulsory immigrants attendance  Help teachers and Standardized testing administrators good Immigrant  Naturalizing naturalization immigrant children Both approaches met with resistance after 1929 as Dewey became more popular
    10. 10. Administrative Progressives  Junior high school program adopted  Psychological tests, vocational guidance  Fewer local high schools, more large, centralized high schoolsEdward Thorndike  Curricular differentiation  Increased state and federal regulation (standardization)
    11. 11. John Dewey  Philosopher, educator, Pragmatist that led opposition to standardization  Heavily influential from 1900-1940  Argued for experimental education, criticized “dead” education  Influence declined after Second World War
    12. 12. Reforms Since the 1950s Civil Rights Reforms (1950s – 1970s) A Nation at Risk (1980s) Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (1990s) No Child Left Behind Act (2001)
    13. 13. Overall Effectiveness  No one solution yields the “perfect” education system  Biggest reforms came in the 1890s and with Administrative Progressives  John Dewey = most influential reformer in modern perspective  Today’s reforms = more legislative, less dramatic change
    14. 14. Modern Perspective
    15. 15. Latest Issues Money  The economy and education  Cost of college tuition  Teacher compensation Assessment  Replacing “No Child”?  National standardization Quality of education  Online vs. in-class instruction
    16. 16. The Economy and Education In Michigan, universities and prisons competing for shrinking state budgets Smaller budgets  fewer programs Students can’t afford to attend college  Increased demand for college education “We are spending more on a prisoner in one year than we are to help a Michigan student go to college for four years.” -Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan The future depends on education – North Carolina
    17. 17. Cost of College Tuition  “"We cant keep subsidizing skyrocketing tuition. Colleges and universities need to do their part to keep costs down as well ... We are putting colleges on notice…”  Solution?  Split $1 billion among states whose colleges contain tuition  Proposed "College Scorecard"
    18. 18. Teacher Compensation Want to hire “the highest-quality educators in the most cost-effective manner”  Paid enough already  Money wasted Many teachers paid for qualifications, not quality  New teachers vs. veteran teachers Unrealistic expectations
    19. 19. Replacing “No Child”? 10 states exempted from “No Child Left Behind” “Take a careful look at the policies at the heart of NCLB, because they have not worked, [and] if they are not working, we need to change them." -Monty Neill, chair of the Forum on Educational Accountability (FEA) Emphasis on high-stakes tests is misguided, should be used more as a “sample” Alternatives?
    20. 20. National Standardization  Removes parents from decisions about content taught in children’s schools  Obama Administration wants to “nationalize” content taught in public schools across America  Common Core Standards Initiative  Problems
    21. 21. Online or In-Class?Online In-Class Scheduling flexibility  Up-close and Classroom-like personal experience  Forced to focus Technical proficiency Hard to tell if students  Social factor grasp material  More rigorous? Honor system Bottom line: depends Easier? on personal learning style
    22. 22. Proposed Solution
    23. 23. No More Standardization  Nationalization is not the answer!  Parents need to be involved, nationalization ruins this process  Road to recovery  Reflect on why we began to set standards  No more standardization legislation  Give states more control of education
    24. 24. Five Steps to Better Compensation1. Avoid Across-the-Board Pay Increases2. Pay Teachers for Their Performance, Not for Their Resumes3. Screen Teachers More Intensely After Hiring Them4. Transition Teachers from Traditional Pensions to 401(k)-Style Plans5. Maintain Sober Expectations - From Jason Richwine’s A Better Way to Pay
    25. 25. Other Reforms (Revisited) Testing  Consortium school  Learning record Funding The issue of control  Abandon No Child
    26. 26. Challenges  Too much?  Skepticism  Legislation  Major challenge: impatience  Extra costs would not be too significant  Most state boards have enough money, just not budgeted correctly
    27. 27. Summary History of education reforms stretches back to the 1800s, continues to present major challenges today  Horace Mann  John Dewey  Modern legislation Reformers have tried numerous approaches, but there is no magical solution Need better budgeting, less federal control Only way to change is to act!
    28. 28. Bibliography
    29. 29. Bibliography (cont.)
    30. 30. Bibliography (cont.)

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