You may be surprised to learn that education reform isn’t as far reaching as we assume. In fact, there have been very few pieces of large legislation aimed at directly reforming our education system. Sure bills like NCLB have been passed and they do impact things like funding and accountability, but the day-to-day business of running an elementary or secondary school is left largely in the hands of the state government and the local school administration.
That being said, there is a history of ongoing issues with our education system and today government officials, school administrators, teachers, parents and students are faced with a long laundry list of reform options to choose from.
One of the largest areas where reform seems needed is that of teacher quality. Many organizations and parent groups are actively seeking methods to improve the overall quality of our teachers. Some of the reform ideas include creating improved training programs that include a more rigorous credential standard. Other ideas such as merit pay, bonus pay and holding teachers directly accountable for their student’s performance are also popular.
Historically, in addition to teacher quality initiatives, other areas have been concerning as well. A battle over the length of both the school day and the school year has been ongoing. Other groups argue that we must find real life measures to combat raising dropout rates, absenteeism and poor performance.
Technology has, of course, brought a whole new set of reforms to the forefront. Many parents and educators are concerned about blending technology and the schoolroom. Creating virtual classes and increasing access to tutors and resources are just few of the reforms that are being suggested.
The history of school reform is long and it is likely to only continue to grow. Watching the debate as the government tries to decide what the future of No Child Left Behind holds.