Stop the school reform merry-go-round

It is time to give up the concept of school reform the way we are presently going about it in the United States. We are spending billions of dollars and getting nowhere. If nothing else, we should save the money or put it somewhere where it might be useful, such as cancer research or renewable energy.

Think about all of the school reform we are experiencing based on the Common Core and a battery of tests from grades three to 12 to go with it. We are reforming by supposedly setting standards, testing kids, then judging the teachers by the results of the tests. What has any of that got to do with improving teaching and learning? Why is there never any mention of the parents or what condition the kids are in when and if they get to school? Notice there is no talk of best practice or improving the process of teaching and learning. It is just set standards, teach, test, score, rank and attack the schools and the teachers.

I coached track for a long time. When I worked with high jumpers, I taught them approach, foot plant, take off, landing, etc. I then walked them through, I then had them go full speed, and then we worked together for a long time to slowly improve. Using the methods the politicians want to use to fix schools would amount to me setting the bar at 7 feet, having the kid jump once, miss, then declare it a failure.

It is time to admit that this national approach to school improvement will never work. If nothing else, we will save a lot of money.

JOHN METALLO

Slingerlands