|Can we slipcover or do we need to reupholster education?|
We just had our sofa recovered and it looks fabulous. The "bones" of the sofa were good. It was just the outside fabric that was old and tired and needed to be replaced. We didn't have to strip the sofa down to its wooden frame and use new stuffing and material for the sofa to be useful. This analogy of sofa stuffing and slipcovering can be used in reference to the education reform facing the majority of states via Common Core standards and the NCLB/ESEA waivers so "graciously" granted by the Federal government to states agreeing to the Federal guidelines.
Think of common core standards as stuffing in a couch. Common Core standards replace state standards. If you lived in a state such as Massachusetts that had exemplary standards, it's as if your stuffing in your very usable couch has been ripped out and replaced with stuffing of lesser quality. The CCS stuffing has not been tested or even "manufactured" in final form, so it is uncertain whether or not they will "sit well". This new stuffing will require a significant cost in material and labor for implementation, when the prior stuffing was fine and even superior to the new and "improved" stuffing.
The waivers are stuffing as well. The NCLB/ESEA mandate stuffing didn't work so what did the Federal Government do? It just replaced it with other mandated stuffing. It didn't matter what the states/districts needed for their individual couches, the DOEd instructed them what stuffing to use and how to use the stuffing. One state may need firm stuffing, one may require softer stuffing. Not every couch or type of stuffing works for every household, just like a "one size fits all" education doesn't fits every state, district, or school, much less every student.
Questions. If 93% of the schools in Missouri were successful, then why has the stuffing (Common Core and waivers) been replaced and mandated for 100% of the schools? If 7% of the schools were failing, why have ALL the schools been reorganized under unproven, untested and underfunded mandates? If the vast majority of the schools had good foundations, why are they required to be overhauled?