The End of the Education Debate.
The education-reform debate as we have known it for a generation is creaking to a halt. No new way of thinking has emerged to displace those that have preoccupied reformers for a quarter-century — but the defining ideas of our current wave of reform (standards, testing, and choice), and the conceptual framework built around them, are clearly outliving their usefulness.
The problem is not that these ideas are misguided. Rather, they are just not powerful enough to force the rusty infrastructure of American primary and secondary education to undergo meaningful change. They have failed at bringing about the reformers’ most important goal: dramatically improved student achievement.
The next wave of education policy will therefore need to direct itself toward even more fundamental questions, challenging long-held assumptions about how education is managed, funded, designed, and overseen. The exact shape of this next generation of education policy is still far from clear — but it is not too soon to think about how we have arrived at this point, and to draw lessons from what has and has not worked.
More at National Affairs.