March 10, 2012

Results-only learning can appease the reformers

In a brilliant post at The Answer Sheet, edited by Valerie Strauss, New York city school principal, Brett Rosenthal, writes about everything that is wrong with school reform.

Among other things, Rosenthal suggests that the current reform movement attempts to solve education woes by eliminating teachers unions, promoting more teaching to test and, perhaps worst of all, creating a teacher rating system that will potentially undermine the effectiveness of teachers and damage impoverished students' chances at receiving a good education.

Although I agree with Rosenthal on all points, I also believe the best way to placate the reformers may be to stop fighting them. Reformers want more testing and more teacher accountability. Teachers hate testing and don't want to be rated based on test results. In a Results Only Learning Environment, students develop a thirst for learning. They become avid readers, curious researchers and effective problem-solvers.

Because of this, students in a ROLE perform well on standardized tests, as they look at it as one more easy hurdle to conquer. So, if we convert to results-only learning, teachers can have their cake and eat it too.

We can be outstanding educators and we can appease the reformers.