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ERIC Number: EJ795156
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 15
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0737-5328
The Business Agenda for School Reform: A Parallel Universe
Gelberg, Denise
Teacher Education Quarterly, v34 n2 p45-58 Spr 2007
Criticism of the public schools has been unrelenting since "A Nation at Risk" was published in 1983. From that pivotal moment to the present the business community has played a crucial role in setting the parameters of the critique of the schools and shaping the reform agendas that have been proposed and implemented. However, this author has found the criticisms of student achievement leveled by the business community to reveal tremendous ignorance of the complexity of schools, of the challenges facing children and teachers everyday in classes across the nation, of the nature of the work of teaching and learning. Many of the reform proposals put forth as the "best new thing," often proposed or supported by the business sector and with little or no teacher input, have been either irrelevant or counterproductive to the work that needs to be done with the flesh and blood children in her classroom. It is as though the people creating these proposals are living and working in a parallel universe that never intersects with the realities of her work in education. Yet it is these very criticisms and policy recommendations that dominate the discussion on education reform today. The author believes that this is a mistake; an expensive and time-consuming diversion from the important work of making schools better and helping children get the most from what schools have to offer. In this article, the author describes the effects of the business community's significant and well orchestrated efforts to alter education in the U.S. today, and how these efforts influence life in school for teachers and students. She also proposes a three-pronged reform strategy that business leaders should embrace: (1) Base school organization and curricula on what scientific research has revealed about how children learn; not only healthy, advantaged children, but children who suffer from learning differences, personal loss, and the social pathologies related to living in poverty; (2) Make teachinga more attractive career option for the best and the brightest among college students; and (3) Address the problems associated with childhood poverty. (Contains 27 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A