Regular Joe

Unfiltered (and totally caffeinated)

what’s the point of public education

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, mainly because I see so much inefficiency in education in general.  I work for an online education company (hosting and PD) which makes me privy to a perspective that a lot of people are never forced to have.  

Now, you might be saying “how is it inefficient?” so here are a few ways (off the top of my head).  

  • localism pervades and disrupts otherwise efficient plans – just look at professional development (PD). It’s not just every state that has different standards and bureaucracy–it’s EVERY district!
  • there’s no consistency across districts or states – if you’re a student your educational opportunities are a crap shoot.  They shouldn’t be but they are.  I went to X school with 4 AP courses while my cousins went to Y school with over a dozen.  Is that really fair?
  • The goal of education is not clear cut – the goal of education resides in a crazy grey area, depending on your perspective/position it might be retention, graduation rates, good grades, college acceptance, a job, or simply being able to read.  While encompassing every one of those goals (and more) the purpose of education, and those working to steer it are aligning education through-puts to achieve a specific goal which is not always or consistently aligned with the goals of the student, community, etc.

Which, taking all into account, is both discouraging and frustrating.  

I’m going to work on getting a handle on this.  To do so, I’m going to start by reading this book with a too long URL: Common Sense – A new conversation about public education.  I’ll post/vent again shortly.

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Filed under: Education

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