Monday, May 07, 2012

“Seventy-one percent of (APS) high schools increased their graduation rates.”

This according to APS Supt Winston Brooks, link.

The increase is on the order of 1 or 2%; as insignificant as it is minute.

Real education reform, whatever it is, whenever we see it, will result in substantial increases in the measures of success, whether they be graduation rates or test scores.

According to Albert Einstein; it is insane to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. If we work backwards from his premise, small changes in outcome are evidence of correspondingly small changes in "the way things are done".

APS has been doing things the same way for nearly a hundred years. They are deeply, and apparently permanently invested in the model called cemetery seating; five rows of six students functioning in a "thought choir"; learning exactly the same things at exactly the same speed, for twelve years, and taking tests every year to prove they are all still together (except that the tests prove the contrary; every year, more and more students fall behind. If that model ever worked, clearly it no longer does.

There is only so much improvement, 1 or 2%, that can whipped out of a dead horse, no matter how resolutely the whip is swung.

Substantial improvement will never follow insubstantial change. To suppose that it will, is insane.

photo Mark Bralley

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