Yesterday, the NY Times published an interesting article which gives me some comfort, though not much, that the education stimulus package will result in material improvements in performance. You might recall that I published an entry recently that was sharply critical of the process and stipulations for the $115 Billion stimulus package. It is important to note that I am very much in favor of additional investment into the education system. But anytime you put the cart before the horse, as a strategist, I worry that the money will be squandered. What exactly is the plan? Why do we think that a "quick hit" rather than a sustained investment over many years will work, especially when there is absolutely no consensus on that the 21st century learning framework should be? I'll be blogging about this topic next week.
In the meantime, I was very encouraged to see that the Education Secretary is requiring some important data from the states if they want to receive the second phase of funding after the $44 Billion that is being made available to states immediately. Will the states play nice here? What are they afraid of? Probably how bad the "real" numbers are, and perhaps some, but not all of the states have "dumbed down" tests in order to inflate their scores to meet NCLB criteria and other measures. I'm also interested to see how the states evaluate their teachers.
I am not writing this post to take a point of view one way or the other. But if we are to truly reinvent our education system, then we need states to be transparent in this process.
Lets see how the states respond to this NY Times article, if at all.
More to come on this subject next week.