Friday, August 07, 2009

"Oh thank God, a task force. Now we are getting somewhere."

"However, we may be getting ahead of ourselves. Shouldn't we
first perform a feasibility study to see if a task force will work?"

wrote a commenter on a Topix Forum thread, link, on
Governor Bill Richardson's plan to address an absolutely
disgraceful high school drop out rate in New Mexico.

How is this task force any different than the drop out task force
we just finished? or the one before it, or the one before that?

If you google "drop out task force" you get 43,700 hits.
If you search the Albuquerque Journal website, you get 133.

Every one of these task forces has the same charge;

How do we make the existing model work,
without changing the model?
How do we arrange 30 kids with widely disparate needs and
interests, in five rows of six, and move them through identical
curricula at exactly the same speed for twelve years?

The task force that considers that question will be a model
task force. It will be, according to the model, made up of
politicians, bureaucrats, administrators, and political cronies
looking for task forces to put on their resumes.

The task force will be populated with the same people who
were on the last task force, and on the task force before that.

There will be no real representation on the task force of anyone
with any first hand experience. Thousands and thousands of
years of real teaching experience will have no seat at the table.

Their testimony will of course be taken.

The task force will be given the charge;
Make the NCLB work,
despite the fact that it is unworkable on its face.
Their nonsensical conclusion is always the same;
The traditional education model can be made to work.
We can homogenize a heterogeneous group by simply
refusing to recognize their heterogeneity.

It can be made to work, as long as you are willing to hire
enough administrators and bureaucrats.
So let's hire more administrators and bureaucrats, by all means.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

another government example of "We're doing something about the problem...we're trying new things!" when they really aren't trying that hard at all.
I agree w/ you 100%! They need to get off their ass and do the hard work of changing the model.
Change 100 things in your control (methods of education settings) instead of trying to change 86,000+ (students & parents) out of your control (for the most part).
Thanks Ched!