In light of yesterday’s release of CSAP results, the Post‘s David Harsanyi gives his diagnosis:
The fact that a third of Colorado students can’t adequately read and that half can’t pass a math test doesn’t mean that Colorado school reform is stalling. It means that some schools and students are stalling and many parents aren’t taking their children’s potential seriously enough. Either Mom and Dad aren’t spending adequate time helping to educate their kids, or they’re not taking advantage of the (still limited) choices Colorado schools offer, or they’re not demanding those in charge to get the job done.
Which brings us to the solution. More Coloradans should act rich.
I can only add in emphasis that acting rich in this case means being persistent. Such persistence is key to yielding more choices and more success in education. But if more parents don’t demand better for their own children or aren’t armed with enough information and knowledge to know what to demand, then the influences of the education union and bureaucrats will continue to dominate.
Harsanyi sums up his point:
Each child is an individual. And each individual parent should demand that their children are educated – whatever the CSAP score tells them. So start acting like a contemptible snob.
When it comes to navigating the education system as an advocate for your child’s education, that advice isn’t so bad.
I would not want to be in Dwight Jones’s (Colo Commish of Ed) shoes right now. How can he be an apologist for a failed educational system, that 13 years of CSAP data continues to condemn? With school funding equalized among the state districts, including the best and worst districts, how can anyone (except the CEA teachers’ union) argue for more money?
Jones and others clearly state that parental involvement is the key. Even with a rich array of charter school, online, and other options, some parents don’t even have enough intiative to choose the options. Can lead a horse to water, but can’t make it drink. But the majority of parents of students in poor performing districts are screaming for better options. Mr. Jones: Encourage vouchers and other competitive educational options that can effectively respond to what the consumers want. As a taxpayer, I don’t want to keep throwing good money after bad.
I am so tired of being told that we need to wait another year or two for the current reform fad to yield fruit. I’ve been heariing that for 40 years, and in the meantime, my kids have had to be educated. Thank God we have charters, private school, and homeschool options in Colorado (so there, Mike Merrifield!). The reality is that a command bureacracy cannot reform itself. Educational consumers must continue to vote with their feet, withdraw their children in their own self interest, and let the rotting corpse of gov’t education implode on itself.
A Charterizer says
What’s taking so long? Teachers that learned early on that school was “fun” haven’t come around to the intense focus that’s needed to see student achievement, especially with struggling students. I’ve been in a Core Knowledge charter school where “everything is on purpose” [a E.D. Hirsch quote] and even the “craft time” has meaning (e.g. building a Roman road with layers of ice cream and toppings in a clear cup).
Conversely, I’ve been in a district-operated school that converted to using Core Knowledge and the Kindergarten teacher still makes a 14′ x 20′ bat cave with her students–presumably because she’s done that for the last 20 years and the kids love it!
Consistently, schools and districts that do not perform have simply not aligned their curriculum to match the model content standards. Indeed, some teachers don’t even know what the standards are or how to use them in their lessons.
And don’t think that new teachers are learning this while in college! It’s only been after the State Board of Education refused to reauthorize some teacher education programs that colleges have even begun teaching their students about literacy!
Curious Stranger says
“It means that some schools and students are stalling and many parents arenâ€™t taking their childrenâ€™s potential seriously enough.”
Like Hope Online! Showing a “Significant Decline” and dragging the rest of the state down with it. When does the magic non-union education power kick in?
Nice gotcha, CS. Come back when you have a little context to your facts and are willing to engage in a serious conversation. Please observe previous comments on this post for examples.