Matt Dale

Teacher and Coach, The Open School

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We need Sir Ken Robinson, Martin Seligman, and the like to guide the US education revolution, not Obama, Congress, Dept.of Ed., or lobbyists

From "The Hill":

President Obama used his weekly address to renew his call for a rewrite of federal education law and to give more local control and flexibility to schools.

"We need to promote reform that gets results while encouraging communities to figure out what’s best for their kids," Obama said. "That why it’s so important that Congress replace No Child Left Behind this year – so schools have that flexibility. Reform just can’t wait."

The president touted his Race to the Top initiative, which aims to reward schools that demonstrate success.

"We need to reward the reforms that are driven not by Washington, but by principals and teachers and parents. That’s how we’ll make progress in education – not from the top down, but from the bottom up," Obama said. "And that’s the guiding principle of the Race to the Top competition."

From Me:
While I believe his intentions are good, what Pres. Obama suggests is more reform. The system, however, is outdated out out of touch and reform will allow these systems to continue with minimal change. Education must allow our young to reach their potential as humans, and for this to happen, a great re-imagining of education must happen. Sir Ken and Martin Seligman are among those who have suggested this and maybe we should let people whose passion and expertise is innovative education and human potential design the new system of American education.

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    Jun 14 2011: Until we realize that education is about helping prepare students for the future they will create-- a realization that will require politicians drop education as a political issue, then we will not be able to follow the evidence and reason presented by Robinson, Mitra, and the other visionary leaders.

    Education is a complex endeavor... unpredictable and not easily measured.

    Politics is a complex endeavor... unpredictable but easily measured.

    Let's realize this importance difference and then we can begin the work of reinventing education for the 21st century.
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    May 31 2011: I have to admit, I'm a little confused as to why you don't think the Department of Education should be involved in this. Their main objective is, or at least should be, that all students, regardless of individual circumstances, have access to a top-notch education. I understand that in some cases, it might seem like the government doesn't really understand what types of reform needs to be done, or what actions to take, but I think that you need the Department of Education to be involved in this. After all, if Sir Ken Robinson and the like come up with ideas, shouldn't the Department of Education be there to help implement them on a larger scale once the ideas have proven to be effective solutions?
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    May 23 2011: Agreed. But we also need to be brave enough to make the move ourselves. To make a stand for a better and different system and to be willing to initiate that journey.
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      May 23 2011: I agree. However, a vision to march toward must exist in order for a unified movement to stand with it. When people demand that things are different, but don't have an idea as to the solution they are standing for, it seems more like whining than constructive protest. I am the one teacher at my school who talks about this on a semi-regular basis. I get a lot of agreement, but not a lot of enthusiasm to back it up or act. Its actually often seen as diversionary because general school and district policies are focused on results and goals that are contrary to my vision (and vice versa).