Haim posted Jan 17, 2012 6:44 AM: > Dom Rosa Posted: Jan 16, 2012 7:01 PM > > >http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/hc-op-commentary- > education-package-0115-20120115,0,4422883.story > > > >Seven Views: So How Do We Fix Our Schools? > >A cross-section of writers tackle the school reform > >question > > Same old shovel ready ideas as always. Including > ing and especially---more money. > > Move along folks, there's nothing to see here. > > Haim > Shovel ready? What shovel ready? > Though as an Indian citizen I'm an outsider to the issue of US public school education (and though it is possible that Haim will command me on that account to "BUTT OUT!"), I took a serious look at the opinion-pieces on the school education system "Seven Views: So How Do We Fix Our Schools?" as presented in the Hartford Courant, 15th January, 2012.
Haim's opinion is that there is "nothing worth looking at here" (and I guess that dismissive thought is Dom Rosa's also to judge from the 'fanciful' descriptor he has provided in the title to this thread).
Well, if looked at in the conventional way these things are usually looked at, that may be true. I would like to provide a different way of looking at the issues treated.
It is possible to extract several useful and very workable ideas from those opinion pieces, which ideas, if effectively integrated into an Action Plan for implementation, could certainly benefit the US school education system very positively. Of course, it should be emphasized that the stakeholders putting forth such ideas should know how to develop an effective Action Plan from such useful ideas. It is quite likely that the authors of those opinion pieces do not know how to create an Action Plan from worthy ideas.
Making no claim as to the actual worth of these specific elements as they stand in the US system as it exists presently, I have extracted a few 'elements' from the ideas put forth in those opinion pieces. As follows:
List of some of the ideas put forth by the contributors to the Hartford Courant piece "Seven Views: So How Do We Fix Our Schools?": +++ 1. Re-invent schools - to give students exciting themes and models to address their diverse learning styles and interests 2. Ensure real-world connections that translate into college and career readiness 3. Recruit top-flight teaching talent 4. Ensure the best and the brightest go into teaching 5. Set effective standards for teachers - teachers to be evaluated every year based on multiple factors, not just on a set of students' standardized test scores 6. Develop processes so as to ensure that evaluators of teachers are trained to conduct effective and consistent evaluations 7. Refinance districts and schools for effective education (with appropriate safeguards to ensure the finance provided is applied effectively) 8. Develop effective school funding system ensuring 9. Create system that establishes equitable funding for each child, regardless of the district or school they attend 10. Get down and do what is really needed to fix the educational system 11. Ensure effective access to a good education for each child, regardless of financial background of his/her parents 12. Stakeholders come together to develop an effective public school system 13. To ensure that the schools of education become effective instruments for an excellent education system 14. To ensure that the powers of the profiteers from education are effectively curtailed 15. (To be provided later 16. (GSC): To ensure EFFECTIVE debate amongst real stakeholders in US education 17. Etc, etc... any other useful ideas may be added to the list.
NOTE: Element 16 added by GSC. The other elements have been 'extracted' by GSC from ideas expressed in the various opinion pieces contributed: these elements will require validation by US stakeholders - perhaps they should be rewritten - to ensure that they actually state what the stakeholders may believe to be the case for US education. +++ Some of those ideas may not be directly workable in the current US scenario) - but that can be known only if and when they are actually modeled to check out specifically how they may "CONTRIBUTE TO" or "HINDER" accomplishment of the goal of an "Effective public school system" (for the US/part of the US that the writers discuss in their thought pieces).
[In particular GSC's expression of those author's ideas may not pass muster - so US stakeholders may please like to modify the ideas appropriately].
With above provisos, I claim the following:
Effectively using these ideas - specifically in Interpretive Structural Models (ISMs) predicated on how they may "CONTRIBUTE TO" each other and to the Mission of an "Effective public school system for the USA" could, I believe do a great deal towards developing those effective systems that you need.
I strongly believe that constructing such a model is far more useful than simply dismissing potentially worthy ideas as Haim has done - and as Dom Rosa has done (by way of the 'fanciful' descriptor he has given his subject line.
Attached herewith an Interpretive Structural model, developed in stages to illustrate the process. (I should emphasize that the model has been developed by GSC - and therefore it should obviously be modified and properly validated by US stakeholders who are better aware of the realities of the US system.
As I am very conscious that "Hell will freeze over" before Haim ever looks at such a model, may I request others who may be willing to look at this model? In particular, Richard Strausz may like to consider how he would like to join his good ideas to this model - it's easily done.
In due course, notwithstanding any irritation that Haim may feel on this account, I shall be taking this model into the thread "Towards an effective public school system for the USA" (was "Live Demo...") as a potentially useful 'starter' for those who may like to collaborate on the very worthy Mission of improving US public school education.