Articles Tagged with reform

fail-owned-my-first-failMy last post on the difficulty of educational reform got me thinking about that other massive system we are trying to reform – healthcare. One way to understand the healthcare system is to compare it to education – where we have had universal single payer access for over 100 years.

In that vein – what would education look like if if it were run like the healthcare system? By transporting our healthcare practices to another environment we can strip away the patina of familiarity and acceptance and see some of the insanity in our system in a harsher light.

Well meaning people can disagree strongly on the specifics of what is needed (and they do). I found as I wrote this that I had to examine my own pre-conceived notions. For example – state funding for education creates some of the same problems the system of private monopolies in medical insurance forces us to wrestle with. The public option in healthcare is the mirror image of charter schools in education – both aim to open up competition and provide alternatives.

Barack Obama is proposing significant new investments in early childhood education. More attention has been focused on his drive to recruit an army of new teachers but I believe the early childhood focus is equally important.

Why? As students age the gap between low performers and even average performers gets so wide that it becomes much harder to bridge it. The chart below illustrates this concept.

The Learning Gap

[This chart is for illustrative purposes only]

NFImageImportHere is some food for thought from Seth Godin on how social networking can help us organize. His main point – the side in an argument that is better organized usually wins. Whether your issue is education reform, textbook and software adoption, privatization, highly qualified teachers, NCLB, or any of the other issues of the day there is a worthy nugget of wisdom in his thinking.

What Happens When We Organize?

As Seth points out these tools upset the power dynamic and if harnessed can lead to positive change.