Thursday, March 29, 2012

What's the problem with Public Education?

Often the solutions we come up with are really good solutions for problems we don't have.

In other words, one of the most common mistakes people make is to misdiagnose their problems.

There is a lot good about Public Education. There is also a lot wrong.

The problem with Public Education is not low test scores.

The problem with Public Education is that too many children have fallen out of love with learning.

As long as we continue to misidentify the problem, we will continue to apply solutions that actually make the problem worse.


  1. Joe, my thoughts exactly...until as recently as a couple weeks ago I talked about kids finding the "on-ramp" to learning through pursuit of their interests, passions, enjoyments, (whatever word you want to use to describe kids being driven by something internal), to learn.

    Then it was gently pointed out to me that kids are born with drive to learn. So I realized that schools need NOT to be an "off-ramp."

    It's hard to talk about this stuff to people who work inside schools and have, as part of their job descriptions, to generate good test scores. Yesterday at my school board's first budget workshop of the season, I said out loud something I've been chicken to say for a long time: "We can't do anything about the stuff we're required by law to do, but we do have a responsibility to understand the impact and minimize the damage to children." To my surprise, among other board members I saw nodding heads, though my head was turned away from the administrators, so I don't know how they reacted.

    We can't pretend any longer that we're required to do by law is not damaging children. So perhaps the first step is admitting you have a problem?

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  3. This is precisely the reason why I can't send my daughter to public school. It's just too likely that the environment will destroy any love of learning she currently has. It's not guaranteed but I just can't take the risk.


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