In his recent Finding Common Ground (Education Week) blog, Peter DeWitt outlined ten critical issues facing education today. He listed the following areas that need our attention:
Common Core State Standards
High Stakes Testing
Pre-service Teaching Programs
That’s a pretty thorough list. Peter ended his article with a question: What would you add to the list? Here are three that I would add:
Students whose parents are involved in their education achieve greater success than students with uninvolved parents (http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED315199). Schools must find ways to increase parental involvement. Invite them into the schoolhouse, support them, and never assume that they are unable or unwilling to help their child.
Peter touches on this under “student learning.” Teachers must be supported and empowered to connect their teaching to “real world” issues. Thomas Friedman noted in The World Is Flat, that the United States needs to continually update the skills of its workforce. Politicians and school leaders must support teachers in their efforts to make learning meaningful.
Early Childhood Education
If we are to address the disparities our children face before they ever enter a school building, we must take a stand on mandatory pre-kindergarten programs. These early childhood education programs should focus on the development of the whole child. Early childhood programs should be language rich, stimulating environments that give children the opportunity for the same experiences that affluent children have. They should not be over-tested, data-collecting warehouses that take all of the fun out of learning.
So, there are three more for Peter’s list. That makes thirteen. Hmm, can someone help a certified triskaidekaphobic by coming up with at least one more?
Peter DeWitt’s full blog: