In today’s Albuquerque Journal, a self-identified “Democratic investigative reporter” attacks Gov. Martinez’s education reforms based on a study for which the authors demand $28.80 to even read. He claims that the Gov.’s agenda is a “one-size fits all, cookie cutter agenda.”
Perhaps Mr. Corwin should have investigated this and this a little more closely. The point is that elimination of social promotion MUST be part of a comprehensive education reform strategy. In Florida (click on the second “this”), that included: A-F grading of schools, eliminating social promotion, dramatic expansion of school choice, expanded virtual schools, resources for early learning, and alternative teacher certification.
Florida’s reforms, particularly those involving school choice and virtual schooling (which can be carried out in tandem or totally outside of the classroom, with a variety of software tailored to student needs and learning styles), are completely opposite of the “one-size-fits-all” mentality that Corwin accuses it of being.
If I had my druthers, the Legislature would pass these reforms all at once, but it didn’t happen in Florida and it won’t happen here, largely due to opposition from supporters of the abysmal status quo.
As this report from the US Department of Education concludes: “the vision of school improvement held by teachers, administrators, and political leaders must be comprehensive. Ending social promotion cannot be the only objective.”
We agree, keeping children in a poorly-performing, monopoly school district for an extra year is not a “game-changer.” Education reform must be comprehensive and designed with both choice and accountability in mind.