Reform isn’t dead, but it is about time we lay it to rest. Why do I speak out against reform? Simple, the idea, the meaning of the word itself have become spoiled.
It is not that I am against change, far from it. It is the style of change and the way in which we change that makes the difference.
1. Reform starts then stops. something is changed and we implement the change hoping for a result.
2. Reform promotes stagnation. We do one thing and continue to do it until it does not work.
3. Reform is reactionary. Some glaring problem is finally recognized and a response is legislated.
4. Reform is typically done TO schools rather than with them.
Instead of this antiquated process, we should be looking to evolve in education. What’s the difference? Imagine if you will:
1. Ongoing cyclical change that seeks to fix a problem, but then continues to improve itself through feedback and adjustment. When change is legislated the process is slow and less responsive.
2. Promote continuous change for the good of kids. Instead of starting and stopping, a process that promotes fluid change to keep up with a rapidly changing world.
3. A change process that is anticipatory. One that promotes self-evaluation of ideas to identify problems before they become significant and modify the plan accordingly.
4. Changes done with schools and by schools. Authenticate the change process by getting those to whom it matters most involved in the planning and implementation of the change.
School Reform is a failed, antiquated process. Its time to make the shift. Its time to begin the process of school evolution!