The Whitehouse Education Agenda

Euphoria dying down and a chance to look at what happens now. On reflection I was disappointed with the lack of magnanimity showed by the new President towards those who had come before. He seemed to suggest that all that had previously happened had been wrong/bad and that now he was in control then things would be put right. I know and understand that this is how politics works but is there any need to say it … better to just get on an do it.

With this in mind I decided to take a look at what changes would be made to education and could not have agreed more with one of the openers: The decisions our leaders make about education in the coming years will shape our future for generations to come.

The ideas go on with: Their vision for a 21st century education begins with demanding more reform and accountability, coupled with the resources needed to carry out that reform; asking parents to take responsibility for their children’s success; and recruiting, retaining, and rewarding an army of new teachers to fill new successful schools that prepare our children for success in college and the workforce.

So progress is about reform. Again I have to wonder what my American teacher friends will think of this knowing how hard they work to support their students and how much effort they put in to moving things forward.

I do hope that the Zero to Five Plan will not institutionalise young children for the sake of a political or a social agenda that is not related to exciting, inspired childhood. So I hope that the actions:  … help states move toward voluntary, universal pre-school… manage to keep an emphasis on ‘voluntary’.

There are lots of bits I do like particularly: …They will improve the assessments used to track student progress to measure readiness for college and the workplace and improve student learning in a timely, individualized manner. Obama and Biden will also improve NCLB’s accountability system so that we are supporting schools that need improvement, rather than punishing them.

The idea that you help and support schools to get better not punish them for not reaching a standard is super. Teachers deserve to be assisted by institutional ideas that they have helped to put in place. Let’s hope ‘teacher’ voice is heard.

And yet in all the rhetoric I find no mention of the use of 21C technology as a vehicle for achieving the aims. I find no evidence of student autonomy in learning and students not being tethered by their geography in time or space.

I could have missed it all … please tell me I did. Read what the Education Agenda document said here.

Original image: ‘The White House (Washington DC)’
The White House (Washington DC)
by: Shubert Ciencia

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