Well never fear Mike Petrilli with the Fordham Institute provides a cheat sheet at Real Clear Education.
Would be Governors, please, ignore it.
His first suggestion.
“Build thousands of new seats in high-quality career and technical education (CTE) programs.”
Hess and Gallo pointed out the one thing Governors have talked about is CTE. Workforce development is all the rage, and unfortunately, it has gutted education. It’s an unproven fad; it makes K-12 education subservient to corporate America, and students don’t come out of the pipeline with a well-rounded education. Companies need to pay for their employee training, and now they expect schools to do it.
So please, ignore the education reformer lingo. If you want to do something bold, talk up classical education. Otherwise, you are just parroting the latest jargon.
“Raise the bar for teacher tenure.”
Raise the bar? How about eliminating the bar by getting rid of teacher tenure. Who else does this beyond academia? I’m happy my home state of Iowa does not have tenure for K-12 teachers. It should be considered anathema.
Be bold, work to get rid of it.
“Thread the needle on curriculum reform.”
For states with strong standards, assessments, and accountability systems — and gladly, that’s many more states than in the past — the next step is effective implementation.
Stop, lousy advice; governors should have absolutely NOTHING to say about curriculum. Leave curriculum decisions with locally-elected school boards. Also “effective implementation” of curriculum aligned to subpar standards and assessments is an oxymoron anyway.
Here’s the real cheat sheet.
1. Demand REAL flexibility from the U.S. Department of Education.
The Every Student Succeeds Act continues to expect states to ask the Secretary of Education “mother may I.” Governors need to strive to cut the apron strings. Governors who discuss this on the campaign trail, along with a plan for accomplishing that, are the bold candidates.
2. Quality standards, not subpar, top-down standards.
Would-be governors need to talk about how they will genuinely rid, not rebrand but rid their state of Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. States can write their academic standards. Be even more radical and encourage local school districts to adopt their own.
We sent men to the moon with centralized standards, but if a state must have state, rather than local school district, standards then make sure they are quality, evidence-based, actually benchmarked, and field tested unlike what most states currently have.
3. End testing mania
Reduce the amount of assessments students have to take in your state. Support a parent’s right to opt their student out. That would be a fresh idea. That would be bold.
4. Protect student data.
Support and cheerlead legislation that severely reduces the amount of data that schools can collect. Also, leave individual student data with local schools. States should only have access to aggregate student data and even very little of that. Then eliminate any third-party access to student data. Also, mandate parental consent for data collection and protect a parent’s right to opt their student out of data collection beyond what is necessary.
Would-be governors who talk up these ideas I could get excited about.