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ERIC Number: EJ1003260
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0013-127X
Putting the Schools in Charge: An Entrepreneur's Vision for a More Responsive Education System
Katzman, John
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v78 n4 p37-47 Dec 2012
It's no surprise that, 28 years after the publication of "A Nation at Risk," school-reform efforts have generated so little effect. The nation's schools have proven, over the past century, adept at resisting change. Recent attempts to inject accountability and innovation have brought an important opportunity. No Child Left Behind helped add transparency, and Race to the Top (RttT) motivated states to rethink teacher evaluation, charter limits, and more. The Investing in Innovation fund (i3) has seeded promising innovations and helped attract more private investment to public education. But none of these initiatives hits at the reasons that education has proven so innovation-resistant: governance and compensation. Further, there is good reason to believe a third impediment--the absence of useful data--will persist even through the Common Core State Standards initiatives. The author argues that a top-down system will continue to be the wrong approach in this country, whether on a national or state level. It doesn't reflect American values or culture, or address the size, diversity, or income disparity of the U.S. In a country of 300 million people, a top-down approach makes substantive change virtually impossible. To fix the nation's schools, states have to stop trying to fix them. The quickest way to raise performance is command and control, but over the long run martial law does not even work well for generals. States can create a more agile, more American, system of governance that eliminates impediments to improvement, empowers schools to innovate, and uses data to help families find the right schools. The federal government should encourage them to do so.
Prakken Publications. 832 Phoenix Drive, P.O. Box 8623, Ann Arbor, MI 48108. Tel: 734-975-2800; Fax: 734-975-2787; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001; Race to the Top
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress; Program for International Student Assessment; Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study