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  • alexandra.steinhauer

    I agree with all of your points. However, currently TFA and SFER provide tools to empower college students to become a player in education reform and not many other organizations have the means to do the same. How can we promote the importance (and be able to turn that passion into action) of working towards equitable education reform to recent grads if not through such organizations?

    • Nikhil Goyal

      Agreed, they've had a tremendous amount of success in organizing students. I'm starting a movement shortly to bring all the stakeholders together. Let me know if you might be interested. These organizations unfortunately are being funded by people who don't want to replace public schools with charters, push ruthless accountability measures, and put unqualified people in the classroom.

      Feel free to reach out:

  • circularrunner

    As someone who runs a GED program in San Francisco, I tend to think that the only real way to work against all these obstacles our students face is to rethink the educational model. The idea of one teacher at the front of the room talking, for my money, is not going to do it. SMall groups-- 3-to 1 student to instructor ratio max. I think that this kind of fundamental shift in the way we think of education--basically, we need a private school set-up for a public school environment--then we will start getting at the problem.
    If I were emperor for a day, I would start a teacher's corps. I would bring students in from different disciplines, not education students, in to local public school systems, and I would have them be supervised by the main teacher. In military terms, it's like a squad of student-teachers going in and doing some real work each class session.

    In exchange, students would have some kind of debt forgiveness. OR, that kind of giving, would be part of the grade of the class. I am trying to implement this model, as much as I can, with my program. God help me.

  • caeltaylor

    Who could ever really rationalize the "positive" benefit of linking teacher pay to performance? It is the saddest thing that has ever been proposed towards some of the most selfless, under-payed, and overworked individuals. Sure some teachers are not great, or are flat out terrible, but that does not mean pay them less! That does not help them. It does not help the kids. We need an education revolution, not an education reform.

  • Sonia Trepetin

    How sad is it that billions of dollars go to political campaigns, apparently, according to this article, even over $1M is given to people for this faux cause, "Every Child Left Behind" is still in full swing (UGH!), but yet the very people who are in the trenches, who see the issues because they are on the frontlines, who are genuinely trying to effect change in the broken system, they can't get a voice because they don't have the bankroll to be heard over the clatter of coin being exchanged by "those with means". It infuriates me. But, the article is enlightening. Thank you for this eye-opener!

  • Vast Shadow

    Innovation in public schools are short founded in many ways because public school teachers rather have money than invest in kids future. Schools will often only adapt free programs. The schools that do that are usually high populated are with high volume of kids.

    People should listen to kids... Most of the new generation today only listens for direction, because they were never given any say or voice at early age. You do have exceptions of few people, those who just naturally disregard authority. Class Clowns have the incentive... Isn't that ironic.

    • Nikhil Goyal

      Great points. I fundamentally believe that there are some traditional teachers that we will never change, but I know plenty more that will if they realize how profound a revolution education desires. Kids cannot be left on the sidelines any longer. It's inappropriate to disenfranchise the very people we are catering to.

      Those "class clowns" may just want to get attention or there may be an underlying issue in their lives. I love kids who disregard authority and the norm and chart their own path.

      Anthony Cody has a great piece at Education Week: Bad Teaching Practice #1: "I am Only Going to Teach Those Who Are Ready To Learn"

  • Bill Vining

    Good article/go get um. Good book that refutes SFER;How children succeed by Tough
    read this after you finish my book.

    • Nikhil Goyal

      Thanks Bill. I read Tough's book. While his thesis is correct, even though progressive educators have been addressing it for over a hundred years now, Tough constantly draws back to the KIPP schools. Grit is overrated. He also believes that anyone can "end poverty for themselves" without making clear of the effects of poverty on schooling.


      • Bill Vining

        I agree, there were several holes in his book and he spent too much time with the Chess stories but until we get to the root causes of poverty and quit throwing money at the symptoms we will never make any real progress

          • Bill Vining

            I loved the chess idea and what they have been able to accomplish. Just overkill and the purpose got lost in the excess length. I do believe that strong character is learned in the competitions. I was a little taken back at the low ACT scores by those that did well in the competition. I would have thought that it would have helped the analytic skills and in turn helped raise the ACT scores. I am working with a colleague to put together a program that combines character, entrepreneurship, academics, and the empowered learner skills. It is combined with technology. I'll pass some of it on when we get closer. Any thoughts would be appreciated.