A 2020 Wish List for Progress in American Education

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Posted: Jan 16, 2020 12:01 AM

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At the beginning of the 2000s, the stars were aligned for broad-based educational reform. A Republican president had made it one of his signature issues and a Democratic Congress – operating in a much less partisan environment than exists currently – was ready to work with him to improve student outcomes across the country.

As the 2010s came to a close, the push for improvement had vanished, with many entrenched educational interests arguing that schools can’t improve until we solve all the other problems our students bring with them – so why bother trying.

If we want the 2020s to avoid the same fate, we need to commit to doing three things: stop bludgeoning beneficial ideas because of who they’re coming from; seriously rethink standardized testing; and continue to explore alternatives to traditional instruction.

I’ve previously written about that first point, commenting on the fact that because some ideas have become so intricately tied to certain individuals, those ideas and the individuals in

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