In Linette Branham’s presentation she addresses the trials of education policy. She exclaims that education policy should be laws and rules that govern public education without specifying each detail. The government should set up a model or general structure for a successful school, requiring certain curriculum topics, particular courses, teacher evaluations, and other overarching structures. It should be the job of the district and school to fill in the hows and whats and to make sure government structures are enforced.
Branham explained the many complications and issues with the finding reform that matches ideal reform and that is agreeable with all groups involved in education. She brought up the problem of overarching non-specific legislature and illuminated the struggles of teachers in the greater reform movement. Using examples from SB-24 she explains how education policy is riddled with obstacles. So that leaves us at the question: Is meaningful education reform possible in this system that Branham describes?
I say government education policy should play a role that keeps each district to a high standard but does not restrict their power, influence, and innovation. Education should be reformed from the ground up. Teachers and administrators at a given school should be at the forefront of change. Teachers should be actively searching for new and interesting ways to teach material. Administrators should be evaluating and helping teachers improve. Districts should qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate student achievement and use that information to guild reform. We need to leave behind huge state tests and worrying about accountability, and start worrying about students love of learning and understanding of the world. We should not expect one solution to the american education system, we need to empower, professionalize, and trust the field of education. It is only through this method that we will begin to see real meaningful change.