Sunday, May 17, 2009

Issuse 5 - Should Global Competition Steer School Reform?

Issue 5 takes a different approach as how education should be reformed. This approach looks at factors such as economic and global competition. These factors have become more prevalent since the 1950’s and continues to influence discussions and thoughts of those setting policy regarding education. At the bottom of page 64 and top of page 65 Noll list several key issues and historical events that have contributed to the beliefs that our current education system is failing to help our nation in the global market. This is also confirmed by both business leaders and economist who agree that our current system of education isn’t keeping pace with globalization thereby producing an un-qualified workforce.
Marc Tucker has a purposed plan to help make us more globally ready for the future. His plan is to reform our current system of education. He gives a clear 7 step system that will take us through this transition. Although he believes this will be a difficult under taking he feels it is a necessary process to keep us as a nation able to compete (the America mind set…as we spoke of in class) on a global scale.
On the other side of the issues is Herb Childress. Herb feels that there cannot be a specific standardized method to teach everyone; accordingly, the method in which to teach should be based more on the individual and their needs, wants and desires. He does not give us a plan to get there but shows us the eight results of what a high school graduate should look like from his perspective.
Now let’s move on to the part we have all been waiting for the question regarding this issue! Tucker's plan is very detailed in how we would go about implementing it but Childress leaves us with no plan. Therefore, I ask you what steps would we have to take to accomplish the results that Childress is looking for????


  1. Please don't consider this a post, but this makes for interesting reading.

  2. To graduate from Childress’ school a child would need to be an extremely well rounded person. The high school itself would have to have every kind of literary appreciation class ever conceived available in order to meet the interests of all of its students. Students would take the ones that appealed to them and perhaps a couple that didn’t-to broaden their horizons-and through these classes they would develop a love of reading.
    Next, the students would do as the author did in math they would engage in many games where math was a key component such as: cribbage, scrabble, rummy and so on. A bit of research on games with numbers would have to be conducted prior to setting up the curriculum. The students would also engage in many sales for the community, raising money for various causes and learning many aspects regarding finance. The end result being of course a lasting love of numbers.
    As far as physical fitness, students would be organized into groups according to interest where they would be responsible for developing their own physical fitness plans and dietary plans. Of course the school would be equipped with the most advanced physical fitness equipment available. The school would also host all different types of athletic inspirational speakers, as well as, dieticians, physical trainers and so on. In this way the children would come to value and appreciate physical fitness.
    The arts curriculum at this school would be unparalleled. Every type of art class imaginable would be available to these students. Any type of dance they were interested in would be represented as well as drama and all types of singing; every instrument ever invented would be introduced and taught. Children would be encouraged to form bands, dance groups, quartets and there would be countless opportunities for performances, art exhibits and so on. Again, as a result an appreciation and love of the arts would be instilled.
    Working in groups would come naturally to these students as they have been doing things in groups according to interests since their first day of high school. The students would be required to become masters on various subjects and then they would be responsible for teaching those things to their classmates, the teachers acting as the “discovery guides” that Adler promotes. In this way the students not only learn to cooperate and work in a group as they will all their life but they learn to take responsibility.
    The students in Herb’s school would learn to be brave and take risks because they would constantly be performing, either in their presentations of information, or with their chosen art forms or by trying an innovative approach to something they enjoy. Trying new ways of doing things would be a part of the curriculum. The children would learn what works and what does not; they would face failures and successes.
    Community service in a field of their interest would be another way these students prepare themselves for the future. The before mentioned fundraisers they would take part in would also keep them involved in their communities. The students would take part in the community and then of course come back and share with their fellow students.
    All of these principles would lead to the culmination of these students becoming compassionate individuals….

  3. Wow, Ali gives a very descriptive plan to meet the ideas of Childress. It almost sounded like a dream-world about halfway through, with every aspect of the child’s education having anything they would want or need available to them. I’m not sure that these ideas would be considered very practical or economical. Lana pointed out that Childress really does not leave us with a plan, and that is apparent when he states, “I’m not entirely sure what we’d be moving toward, but that’s not a question that you ask in a time of crisis, you just get people out of the wreckage and away from the danger” (Noll, 77). He is comparing the current education system to a car crash or burning building, which I think is a little extreme. He knows what he wants, but has no plan on how to achieve it or move toward it. I am a believer that when you come up with an idea, you should always have an idea on how to execute it. Maybe if Childress began to think as thorough as Ali’s plan was, he would realize that it was not very feasible to provide all those things to children.

  4. Katherine:
    I agree that my plan for the high school is highly eccentric; however, given enough funding anything is possible. Perhaps this high school of the arts would be funded by Bill Gates and executed by Al Gore.

  5. I can appreciate what Chidress is saying. He seems to be clear on what skills he thinks a student should have but not clear on how they can develop those skills. He does refer to John Ogbu and critics and agrees with his statement of "Whatever else education may be, from the standpoint of society it is a preparation of children for the adult life as adults in their society conceive it"(noll,p.73,74). Childress sees the problem with what Ogbu is saying is that we have a very diverse society and the diversity would cause difficulties. However, he does have a list of skills that he feels students should posses after high school.The skills he list consist of Students knowing and enjoying to read, be able to compute math problems, enjoy physical exertion an activities, have a desire to be creative, have good social skills, have a good attitude, be able to accept rejection and criticism, be involved in the community and be compassionate and caring of other people.I agree with Ali, students do have to be well rounded in the eyes of Childress. I also think being well rounded can be the most important skill of them all. So... I do think Childress lays out a framework for an eductional system he feels would help students in their "preparation for adulthood"(Noll,p.74). True the framework does need some help but I like that fact that he considers the individual more than the system. Although Childess thinks that global competition should not steer school reform he does see problems with our system as it is today.With a little assistance from some educators and social workers his framework may turn out to be a good educational plan to help address the issue he is against.

  6. I love it, Ali. We have to dream!

    I found something very interesting online when I looked up Childress. He wrote an article called "Seventeen Reasons Why Football Is Better Than High School." Sounds like he loves football, but he actually hates football...that's the point. He says you can replace the word football with any activity - dance, baseball, music, theater.

    Here's an an overview from his essay. I condensed it, but these are his words:

    Football: Students are active
    High School: Students are passive

    Football: Students' strengths, abilities, preferences used
    High School: Everyone must "keep pace with the same state-ordained curriculum as every other class"

    Football: Students encouraged to excel and improve constantly at their level, praise is used, but we keep asking for more
    High School: Learn something just enough to pass test, then they forget

    Football: Player can let the team down.
    High School: Emphasis on individual outcomes

    Football: Repetition is honorable. Do drills over and over. Skills get easier and they use them to do more complex things.
    High School: Continually move forward, new things every class,

    Football: Unexpected happens all the time - students have to tune in
    High School: Teacher scripted, fewer disruptions the better, students tune out

    Football: A lot longer than 50 minutes, work until they get it right or too tired to move, schedule run by internal forces
    High School: Schedule run by state laws, other classes, busing schedule

    Football: Homework different than what's done at practice - weight training, running
    High School: Homework and classwork the same - worksheets

    Football: Emotions and human contact are expected. They are supposed to talk with one another.
    High School: Generally prohibit communication except for restricted exchanges

    Football: Choose own roles, choose sport, favorite position, opportunity
    High School: Give them list of classes they have to take, assignments they have to do, requirement

    Football: Better players teach the less-skilled players, on purpose and by example
    High School: Best students often are not given opportunity to shine, kept at same pace as other students

    Football: Individual instruction and encouragement from adults, small coach-student ratio = more personal contact = students feel free to ask questions and see coach as real human, assistant coaches, 10-13 players to one coach
    High School: 30 students to one teacher

    Football: Coaches genuinely interested and passionate
    High School: Teachers sometimes hide or hold back their passion about their subject

    Football: Volunteers from all over the community to help out
    High School: Very few volunteers willing to help out in the classroom with math, science, etc.

    Football: Ability isn't age-linked, freshman can play varsity, if you're really good then you move up fast
    High School: Teacher gives you an A and that's it. No recruiting in for English stars, Science stars...

    Football: More than a sum of its parts, they know that their job at the end is going to mean putting all the moves together
    High School: We keep the parts separate. We don't show overlap of subject areas.

    Football: Public performance is expected. Potential for poor performance is motivator at practice.
    High School: Performed and evaluated in private.

    He ends by saying: "We need a varsity education."

    I think that's really cool. I also think it gives us a model for improving schools: flexible scheduling, cooperative learning, project-based activities, student choice in assignments and classes, small class sizes, student-centered discussions and activities, purposeful activities, interdisciplinary planning...

  7. Childress lives in the dream world we all want to teach in and Ali did a wonderful job displaying what "the ideal steps would be needed in order to accomplish his goal." The reality is as Katherine stated, not very practical. Again, with Katherine's comment, Childress knows what he wants and if you come up with an idea you need to follow through with it. Childress' comment, "This may not be the same definition that you would create for an attractive, complete adulthood. And that's fine, so long as you can actually go through the excerise and create a definition that you can really stand behind and don't just accept the default version." (Noll, p. 75) I think Childress views situations as the educator does not necessary need to have a strategic plan laid out like Tucker has with his 7 step process (p. 67-71) A lot of the educator's knowledge is all at their finger tips and they should continue to think quick on their feet and adapt. Childress made key points when he went over the 6 principles listed on page 76. One that really comes to mind is principle 6: Students should be prepared for a life of geographic and organizational mobility." Keeping children engaged through educational enrichments and community involvement is essential so they do not live in fear of the unknown. Childress stated, "They learn to avoid pain instead of to seek love. They learn to avoid commitment, becuase they might have to leave. They never asked to engage who they really are, but rather to be more and moe like their masters. I believe although, Tucker and Childress are very different, they both have the same vision of seeing each and every child succeed.

  8. To comment on the question about the issue should global competition steer school reform? Personally, I agree and I think that we need to have some kind of goal for our educational system. I feel part of the problem is that we aren't sure what we want out of our educational system. In the begining it was clear that theology ruled and that was the basis for education. Now because of the many different aspects associated with world dominance, the focus has been clouded. We have a variety of schools of thought on what the purpose of or what the goal of education should be. for example, John Ogbu's phrase on education "preparation for adulthood"(Noll,p.74). John Holt who feels "young people should have the right to control and direct their own learning"(Noll,p.25). John Alder who thinks the basics of schooling should "correspond to three aspects of the common future to which all children are destined" (Noll,p.18). Marc Tucker mention's two criteria that are needed to be attained by our educational system. "We must match the best academic performance in the world and offer the most creative and innovative workers" (Noll,.p.67). These are just to name a few. This brings me back to the topic of global competition. If we focus on global competition as the goal then maybe there could be some solidarity and a workable curriculum put in place...... or maybe we should take a closer look at how some other countries educate their youth for example, China, India or Korea (Noll,.p.66)...... just a thought.

  9. Commenting on John Ogbu's quote: "Whatever else education may be from the standpoint of society it is a preparation of children for adult life as adults in their society conceive it." (Noll, p. 77) It reiterates that children in today's world are focusing on learning what the educator wants them to learn or as well as what their parents want them to learn. They should be able to have their own visions as Childress would prefer them to do so. However, they need some sort of action or plan to follow through with their vision. Childress provides his own vision when he states, "My dream is that I will live to see the day that the modern high school will be considered the counterpart of the mission, the orphanage, and the poor farm - an institute that was taken for granted and considered beneficial in its time but has since been judged to be inhumane and unthinkable." (p. 79-80) Why can't Childress vision a plan for the children the way he drives from his own? He has wonderful ideas that could work well for the education if he wouldn't bounce around so much as he stated in the beginning of his issue.

  10. A subtractive education: the goal of today's schools seems to be to outfit children in the educational armor that will enable them to soldier on to their appropriate places in the white-collar hierarchy. Mr. Childress wants schools instead to chip away at that armor, to discover the true core of each student.Publication: Phi Delta Kappan

    Publication Date: 01-OCT-06

    Author: Childress, Herb
    The process of education as described by Childress is that of an assembly line. He refers to this education as an additive education (each teacher adding like blocks their particular specialty. Building a tower. He is apparently advocating then a subtractive education, one that is different from the current "devastating" system employed in most American high schools. So awful is the process of secondary education, he seemed to think that a recovery period is needed. It seems to me that most anyone can point out the problems, and yes this is the first step. However to offer no solutions at all...
    In answer to the question posed, what would the high school look like if it were to take Childress's outcomes as the goals of education, I would say that learning would be more active, teachers would be facilitators as opposed to assembly line workers algebra blocks on students as they pass through the classroom for 45 minutes a day. Since I think that the task to figure out what the ideas of Childress would look like if put into practice is far beyond my know how. I would examine one aspect of the interactiveness that he seems to tout. One possibility would be for students to shadow different people in the community in order to get real world experiences in the job market. The arts could be expanded and required for all students to participate in some way, acting, advertising, lighting, make-up etc. Physical education, instead of dodge ball, perhaps could include swimming, golfing, biking, team sports, yoga etc.
    One last random thought, Childress several times refers to the poor house or orphanages as inhumane and unthinkable (p80) by todays standards, and yet I wonder if the scores of homeless people would agree with his statements... my thoughts as Childress's tend to meander.

  11. In order to complete the steps Childress is looking for which are:

    Graduates of my high school would love to read

    Graduates of my high school would love numbers

    Graduates of my high school should enjoy physical exercise and activity

    Graduates of my high school should have some well-developed outlet for their creative desires

    “ “ should know how to work in groups, and they should know how to teach a skill to someone else

    “” should be brave and take risks

    “” should understand and take an interest in their community

    “” should be compassionate and care about people they don’t know

    We need to reform legislation. Now I know that I am not a fan of the current NCLB, but I would reform a legislation that allows more freedom of education, allows individuals to learn at their own pace, but gives them the knowledge to be competitive in society. If you take a close look at the academic content standards most of these steps are being met, but not being met. These are forcing students to begin to hate these things because it is so drilled into their head for 13 years that there is no freedom there. They could choose to read genre’s that they want to read, rather than ones that are forced into their brains. Graduates should love numbers, but it shouldn’t be so unbelievably hard for kids. It should be more freedom to what the child wants to do in the future.

    I know that they also encourage students to be in physical education, mandating them to take a physical education credit. In the state of Ohio (, high school students need to take 1 credit or two semesters of physical education, but its dodge ball, and soccer and nothing like weight lifting or walking for fitness.

    As for the final 5 steps, their needs to be a mandate for social skills training, not only in understanding other cultures throughout the world, but the cultures even in their own communities. Learning how to deal with differences, rather than shut out someone that could be a great friend.

    Throughout history, the federal government has given some mandates that are trying to make the students of the United States’ schools more competitive, they just need to think in the future, rather than the current issues. They shouldn’t dream too big and expect huge changes over-night, it takes time.

  12. In Tucker's plan I must say that I really like step 6: providing all the things that disadvantaged students need, from couseling and day care, to pre-school... etc... The question here again, who pays? Would the school districts that receive more money per pupil sit still and allow money to be funnel out of their district into a poorer one?

  13. Jen in researching for this post I too ran across the football thing. Each of the comparisons are true, and do give us something to think about. I think all kids should be required to play some type of team sport in middle and high school. I know that most would not agree with me, but I think being a part of a team strenghtens and builds character, it also forces kids to work together towards a common goal.

  14. When I finished Childress, I knew that the person assigned to his issue would ask that very question, which is a very good one and if you think about it, his view of the issue was incomplete. Just because he likes to meander in thought doesn’t excuse Childress in providing some “meat” to his thoughts and theories. If he was in school and turned in an assignment, term paper like this one, the teacher would have given him an incomplete grade!
    Okay, since Childress thinks that everyone should know that Vasco da Gama was the first European to sail around the Cape of Good Hope, who was the first baseball player to hit a homerun in the new Yankee Stadium?
    Back to answering your question and after researching Tucker with the initial thought that Childress was in a fantasy land of make believe high school, I have come to the conclusion that whatever Childress’s vision is on high school and education let us implement it now because Tucker is way too scary for me!
    According to “The Blue Skunk Blog” some think that education and especially NCLB is developing and producing “robots” for the U.S. workplace. And after reviewing Allen Quist’s ‘concern” of Marc Tucker’s new educational proposal, the reader can quickly see that both visions work hand in hand. Tucker is not interested in educating the individual student, but preparing them for as a worker and/or employee that is passive, obedient, and almost “robotic.”
    Childress’s vision of a perfect high school could be found in certain private (Catholic) high schools and some wealthy suburban school systems. What gets in the way is the rules and regulations of the Federal government, testing, grades, rankings, etc. It is no wonder students have a hard time enjoying reading, numbers, sports, the arts, teams or teamwork, risk taking (too many young students are conditioned not to fail) and their community. Childress wrote about architecture in 2001, “Homes to Powerful Learning and Delight,” which provides some clues of his vision. “School can be helpful, satisfying, and equitable places. Architecture alone will not make them so, but we can use buildings to assist us in creating school that are homes to powerful learning and delight.” He recommends that administrative offices should be within the school with staff, teachers, and students are all together. This would eliminate the isolation between the decision-makers and the teachers. He also states that schools should be located in the center of town, use local services like theaters and athletic programs to reduce the isolation of school from the community and increase the number of adults in a student’s life. Childress also thinks the principal’s office should be the center of the community, instead of a place of punishment for the wayward student. (Horace, Vol. 18, #1. Fall 2001) {Comment One for Issue 5}

  15. Tostrolencki, I agree with what you talk about when regarding with the students' visions. In past chapters in our text, we have read about educational philosophers that want our children to broaden their horizons and not be a carbon copy product of what the schools want. When John Holt discuss's in his section titled "Escape from Childhood" he summarizes that children shoudl begin to choose their educational futures, rather than have it told to them by the teacher in the classroom.

  16. Ali, with the economy today, in this deep recession, is their a way to have an elaborate education and cut down costs, should our child's futures be so reliant on the all-mighty dollar?

  17. Commenting on Jessica's comment earlier...Tucker's plan #6... "Providing all the things that disadvantaged student’s need, from counseling and day care, to pre-school... etc...” I don't necessarily feel it should come out of other districts' funds. I feel that district should be allotted more funds from the state to be able to provide for the student and meet that student's needs in order to promote and provide learning in their environment that best suites them. Each state should provide those districts the money needed instead of districts having to steal from others.

  18. Allen Quist wrote about Tucker (EdWatch, Jan 13, 2007) whereby pointing out some very interesting interpretations of his goals and objectives on education. Under Tucker's plan, no one would fail and the system would be able to send 95% of the students to college. According to Quist, Tucker states "to compete in the world economy, the United States must adopt internationally benchmarked standards for educating its students and workers." Tucker is looking to the United Nations to teach our children! He is counting on business to help sell the proposal through the help of the taxpayer thereby allowing skilled workers to move around the world in the same way they move minerals, oil, and technology. Tucker is trying to make all education vocational (Karl Marx had the same view on education). Quist points out that it will never work because the "kids" will figure out that they worth more than what business measures in terms of assets and liabilities. They (the "kids") will see "that they have been reuced to being cogs on impersonal economic wheels."(Comment 2 on Issue 5)

  19. Tostrolencki - I agree that in order for disadvantaged kids to get what they need, schools shouldn't have to use their own funds. Maybe schools should join together with other community services in one big building - one area of rooms where they go to school, another area where they get breakfast and lunch, go to daycare in another, get healthcare in another, recreation area in another, special needs in another, mental health in another...for kids who need this type of set-up (disadvantaged). Funded fairly by the state. All of the professionals collaborate to hire staff and take care of children. Parents can access services all in one building. Schools, MRDD, Family Services, Doctors, nurses, parents all come together to solve problems. Could this ever happen? I feel like if we really want to reach more students in the academic area, we need to fix these other issues. Then we can worry about disadvantaged students being prepared for the global economy. Tucker would spend a third of the investment fund on early education and says " scores of studies indicate that high-quality early education programs can ameliorate or reverse learning disparities." Early intervention is so vital. I feel like we use the "Wait-to-fail" model way too much in American education. Why not set them up for success and prevent failure!!??

  20. Someone commented on the Childress and the football thing - I think the football thing is showing how much more authentic their experiences are through real world activities such as being on a football team. and how schools are not providing enough of those same type of opportunities with science, math, social studies, etc... Instead of teaching everything as separate skills and subjects and focusing on student achievement, there should be a more team-oriented, meaningful and real world based environment in schools. Mulit-disciplinary, community-based projects, activities where kids have to depend on one another....

  21. Tom, I read some material that said exactly the same thing. I also did a bit of research about education in China... I would not want my child to be educated in China. I also agree with what Jen says in the post about football. "Team mentality" is not promoted in the school system and it should be. It is helpful in all aspects of life.

  22. Maybe education should not be dependent upon the almighty dollar, but it is, and always will be. Where would the state get the money to finance these massive programs? Raise taxes?

  23. I agree with Jessica education is dependent upon the dollar. Now I do believe that there are ways to cut costs and still provide an elaborate education. It would have some socialist type overtones. People in the community could donate their time and expertise to assist with various courses instead of hiking taxes. (Everyone would be required to offer something or required to pay I suppose) Then students would help out in their communities as needed to raise their awareness of how society works and what they can do to contribute to it. Sort of like Hutchins mentions (p. 11). Also this dream school would have an elaborate garden at its center which would provide for the entire community. (cutting costs on lunches, promoting healthy eating, working as a team) We could invest in solar power/ harness wind... The school would become the central point of the community and all would grow from it.

  24. I have to agree with Childress when he commented on Ogbu's comment about how "education from the standpoint of society is a preparation of children for adult life as adults in their society see it." (Noll pg.174) He goes on to state that that phrase has many different meanings depending on the different potential outcomes of adulthood. Of course his version of adulthood is greatly skewed because of his "ideal high school". Sure if students were exposed to those kinds of ideals they very well might turn out to be great. But is it a reality in our country today, with all of the other problems that we face like government, state testing, funding, etc.? I highly doubt that it is feasible, even in most of the private institutions in our nation. It's nice to think about though...

  25. What actually shocked me when I read it was that we in America seem to be so far behind the rest of the world. On page 66 Tucker says that America accounts for only 14% of the world's population of college students, and it continues to fall. We definitely need to do something about our education system, and soon, because at this rate it seems like we aren't putting enough educated students out in the real world that can actually survive in the real world. I feel like America is a very advanced country when it comes to certain things, (like government) but we are not only behind in education, but also technology. I learned in a technology conference a few months all sorts of crazy statistics like India has more HONORS kids than America has KIDS. And the total number of text messages sent per DAY outnumbers the population of the planet. They went on to say how we are preparing children today for jobs that don't even exist yet. It was really eye-opening and made you think. I believe the link for it can be found on YouTube. Just search Did you know? Technology. and it should come up. I really advise everyone to check it out if you have a free minute!

  26. To accomplish the results that Childress is looking for would be challenging. I think it will take a collective effort between government and state, community and schools, teachers and administrators, students and teachers and school boards.Childress is concerned with the whole individual. His focus is in getting students to adulthood(Noll,p.74,75). He describes "adulthood as a vigorous, ongoing practice rather than a state to be"(Noll,p.75). If
    accomplished, "adulthood will serve as the foundation for an infinite number of careers, in an ever shifting economic world"(Noll,p.75). The committee that creates the curriculum can use the guidelines Childress sets out in his description of adulthood. Though it would be vague, it could serve for the foundation of a curriculum. I would think the use of some educators, social workers, psychologist administators and business professionls on the committee. He does mention the skills he would like to see developed in the subjects of math, reading and physical education. The other categories could be offered as electives. The committee could design the science and social studies areas.

  27. David's post about being a collective effort between government and state, community and schools, teachers and administrators and students and school boards it right on target. I think that covers everyone! Everyone would have to be on the same page though in order for it to work, and when he stated that the committee that creates the curriculum can use the guidelines Childress sets out in his description of adulthood (though it would be vague) I'm not so sure at that point things would progress as they need to. The rules and standards set by this group would need to be set in stone, and followed precisely in every state in the U.S.

  28. Childress gives a general idea of how schools should be teaching children, but gives a very vague solution to the problem. He is very good at outlining the negative aspects of the schools, but I feel that he should have also tried to offer some sort of a solution. While he does offer a list of what graduates at his high school should know, he does not offer a way of reaching those goals or how to teach them. His idea that "aduthood is a rigorous, ongoing practice rather than a state to be obtained" (Noll, 75) leads me to believe that one of his steps would require making students into critical thinkers and problem solvers. One of his observations that he dislikes from looking at the high schools is that "teaching should be active, and learning should be passive" (76) I agree that this needs to be changed in order to teach the students the way that he wants to, in that students need to be active in the learning process as well. In a literature class, students could have a say in the material that they read and should have classes that allow them to explore their more creative sides. Also, there would be a lot of cooperative learning and he would want students to work on community service projects because he says that students should "understand and take an interest in their community" (75). His entire goal is to make students more well-rounded and to give more personal attention to the student. This is going to take more than just the teacher to do this and I feel that if this were the role of schools, not only would teachers be needed for this but counselors and the family as well. The family would need to be incorporated into Childress plans because they could also help to foster the plan that he has in store for the students. While I think his idea that we need to make students more well-rounded is great, I wish that he could have at least offered some suggestions on how to do this.

  29. In reference to Katherine's comment about how Childress has an idea, but no plan to execute it, I agree that if you are going to detail what is wrong with the current learning process that you should have at least some sort of an outline on ways to fix it. It's easy to find the things that are wrong, but where do we go from there? With Tucker, he at least outlines a plan of action for what needs to be done with the school system. While I may not agree with all that he states, he at least gives an idea on how to execute a plan to help reform the schools. Tuker says, "Will it be tough to implement a program like this? Sure" (71) but he at least outlines the seven steps that could be taken to do this unlike Childress who leaves us to determine for ourselves how to carry out his plan.

  30. I like the idea of teamwork within the classroom and on the field of play. Even though you are on a team, doesn't mean that you are a team player. What do our children have as role models in America? The American family is broken, the overarching message on cable and the internet is rather suspect to say the least. If our children - students do not have a internal team as a benchmark (father and mother)then issues become a little more difficult for the young individual. There are several negative external forces that compounds the problem in providing high quality education to our American students.

  31. I also tend to agree with what m_biels said about the comment from Ogbu that Childress mentions about "education being preparation for adult life as adults see it." They shape education based on what they deem important and based on how they were taught in school themselves. I also agree with Tucker that something needs to be done to make Americans more in competition with the rest of the world. While I'm not sure if I wholly agree with his plan, I think something education needs to focus at least a little bit on is advancing technology and other areas.

  32. "Maybe schools should join together with other community services in one big building.." (Jen B)
    Jen, Ted Sizer (among others) has suggested this very idea....

  33. Interesting idea, David--the "collective" approach....fits in nicely with the whole 21st Century skills thing (collaboration, communication, creativity, cooperation...)Molly, I think I see where you're coming from with "The rules and standards set by this group would need to be set in stone, and followed precisely in every state in the U.S." The set in stone stuff sort of makes me nervous, though...

  34. Concerning Jessica and Tiffany’s comments earlier about agreeing with Tucker’s Step #6, which calls to provide support to disadvantaged students (Noll, 70). The big question they seemed to have is, who would pay for this? It seems to me like the most important, money saving step in Tucker’s plan is Step #1, where he suggests to chart a new course for student progression through the system (Noll, 67). In this step it seemed to me that he was an advocate for students to move through the system at their own pace, and leave high school early if possible. He suggested that students could take state examinations similar to college advanced placement examinations whenever and as often as they wanted. When they passed these exams is when they could move onto college (Noll, 67). His hope was that as the rest of his plan’s steps began to take effect the “majority of our high school students could pass these examinations at age 16” (Noll, 67). He even goes on to give the example that this is possible because “Denmark graduates the majority of its students ready for college at 16 years old” (Noll, 68). The “savings of money would be realized in high schools (because students would have the opportunity to exit early) and in colleges (because remediation costs would decrease”. His analysis “found that close to $60 billion would be available for strategic reinvestment in schools” (Noll, 68). A portion of this saved money would go to an increase in funding for schools serving the most disadvantaged (Noll, 71). The other two areas Tucker believed would be important for reinvestment of funds are “building a high quality early education system” and “recruiting, training, and deploying a high-quality teaching force” (Noll, 68). So, assuming Tucker’s plan would work, it would essentially pay for itself.

  35. Jen – Thanks for posting that football comparison. I agree with you that it does show how students can learn more from real life experiences and in working with others. I think that this could also fit in with David’s idea about the “collective approach” because teachers, administrators, students, and the community would have to all work together to provide these experiences.

    Also, someone stated earlier that although there are differences between the plans and ideas of Tucker and Childress, it is obvious that they both have the best interest of the students and education in mind. I do not wholly disagree with either one of them.