Torn Over #EdReform: Belief Analysis

If you are like me, you have been following the debates surrounding choice education, Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Teach for America, and education inequalities.  All of these issues, according to my perspective, are interrelated and fall under the umbrella of education reform.  The rhetoric on both sides of the debate have some validity to them.  People like Diane Ravitch argue that the CCSS are basically a one-size-fits-all approach to education that is being forced on educators and students without sound proof that they are appropriate.  Dr. Steve Perry, another heavy hitter in education reform, is an advocate for full open choice for families as a way to remedy what he sees as a broken education system.  Of course, there are many more players involved especially those with business and/or political interests.

All of this debate has me torn over education reform and in the spirit of reflection and introspection I have analyzed and listed my core beliefs of education in order to frame further analysis of the education reform movement.  Please note that this list is not in order of importance.

My Core Beliefs:

  1. All students have a right to access a safe, rigorous, relevant, and free education that builds both competence and confidence for future success.
  2. Our democracy and society depends on equal access to quality education.
  3. The purpose of education is not solely preparation for careers.
  4. The purpose of education is to prepare students to be critical thinkers and active citizens with the diverse skills and the habits of mind necessary to navigate an increasingly complex world.
  5. All students, and their families, want an opportunity for success.
  6. Although education is vitally important, one institution, working alone, cannot remedy societal ills stemming from generations of injustice.
  7. Most, if not all, educators and policy makers have good intentions.
  8. Policy makers and educators at all levels sometimes suffer from clouded judgement due to their personal values and interests.
  9. Highly qualified, trusted, valued, and supported school-level educators are a critical component to preparing students for future success.
  10. Elevating student voice and choice within the school and classroom environment will equip students with the skills and habits necessary to navigate an increasingly complex future.
  11. Decisions regarding education policy should be made with a mindset of doing what is best for students.

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