Thompson: Coherence Vs. Dynamism (Or Both)
Fordham's Mike Petrilli shows another way out of education's "day to day vitriol" with his "One Size Fits Most." America needs both, the "Coherence Camp," which looks to curricular coherence and professionalized instruction to improve our school systems, and the "Dynamism Devotees," who want to "unbundle" schooling. Linda Darling Hammond, Marc Tucker, and David Cohen would draw upon international examples and create national standards and a handful of national curricula. I am not convinced that our low-poverty schools are broken, but I am confident that the Coherence Camp would produce real improvements. Rick Hess, Paul Hill, and Tom Vander Ark could encourage choice schools that "make it easy to drop out of the "One Best System." The Dynamism Camp would produce failures that lead to "poorly served school's (and kids)," but unsatisfied parents could then return to the "One Best System." It is equally certain, however, that creative disruption would produce incredible success stories. None of those thinkers specialize in the lowest-performing 10% of schools. On the other hand, perhaps it would be easier to turnaround our toughest high-poverty schools if we concentrated on their problems, as they really are, and not politicized solutions designed to please data-driven reformers, while not antagonizing traditional reformers too much.- JT (@drjohnthompson)Image via.