Education Reform is Getting Personal
I have long been interested in education reform for many reasons, most having to do with the personal impact of a system that is too large to fail, but is failing nonetheless. This failing is despite a host of individuals and foundations who have been willing to put millions, if not billions, into research and development of educational reform, the federal government being a lead funder of experimentation. Each jury season, the verdict is mixed; funders claim levels of success while end users speak of missteps, promises unfulfilled, and disappointments.
Education reform, as recently witnessed in the highly partisan and bitter debate on the Common Core Standards, is full of emotion akin to that found in discussions of religion, politics, and social policy. Logic is a casualty of such passion and so is progress. As a nation we continue to argue points of relevance on education reform that have been debated for decades without true resolve. We seem to be inexorably hinged to a Sisyphean drama that does not have an ending, just continuous dialogue. Each day is Ground Hog Day, and we, as educators and citizens, are damned to sit and watch while layers of reform are placed on crumbling foundations that are hard put to hold up what is already in play, let alone host the new innovation piped into the system every month.
I, like many education reformers, have become weary of the market place of change which offers hope, but lacks mechanisms and detail for sustainable growth over time and is inclined to to partisan politics. However, I still wake up every day believing that there is an answer.
So, on September 14, 2015, and again on October 5th, I was intrigued with a full page ad in USA Today placed by XQ The Super School Project. The ad is a reminder that we have a national education problem and a chiding to do something about it, specifically at the high school level. What I found captivating is XQ is not taking a top down reform approach nor is it simply throwing money at the problem and allowing already flawed leadership to lead the reform. XQ is going to the source, the students and entrepreneurial innovators themselves, by providing direct access to a change agency that can impact reform through project development that requires measured outcomes over time. This is an opportunity that is very exciting and worthy of notice.
Of course, The Super School Project is in its infancy and its long-term impact is far from understood. But, it has purpose and heart, and I recommend that you visit the website and spend some time understanding the passion.
Good reading everyone!