Trend or Need

The announcement that the Obama administration is looking at reauthorization of the ESEA before the next election has the media spinning with news about upcoming reformations in their state. Now that we are seeing more movement on the education front, it makes me wonder:

1. Do states finally see an opening to push their shelved initiatives?

2. Are states following a general trend, or is there really a need?

3. Is the only reason we are hearing more of these reformations because media is prone to pick up what they deem as important?

4. Do states push their initiatives forward when the need is first presented by the public, or is it that they don’t really feel like they can unless they see a window of opportunity a.k.a it is now something worth fighting for because there tends to be a national trend?

This is just some food for thought. While conducting my daily education policy search, here are the articles I found on education reformation. I am interested in knowing if these reformations have been developed over long periods of time and are finally coming to fruition, or if media is just more prone to finding them, and/or if teachers and educators are involved in the creation of these reformations.

January 20, 2011

(Idaho) Teton Valley News: Technology is focus of new reformation plan: According to the article, this is a 5-year strategy based around creating 21st-century classrooms, great teachers and transparent accountability. Most of this reformation is geared toward educating students with limited resources. The state proposes giving $6,000 to fully equip all Idaho classrooms with updated technology, which is about $68 million for this reformation. Tom Luna, Superintendent of Public Instruction, also says that incorporating technology could also mean the cut of 770 teachers. How this is helping education, I don’t know. Read the article for more info.

(New Jersey) Education Reform in New Jersey: This is list of letters to the editor. It provides some good insight into how ‘failing schools’ is defined by policymakers and what is driving reformation for the state and who should be regulated in education.

(Arizona) Governor Jan Brewer Announces New Education Reform Initiative: While the particulars of the newly launched Arizona Education Reform Plan have yet to be determined, Phoenix representatives announced their plan to increase standards in several areas.

(Indiana) The Herald Bulletin: Reform Movement Opens Up Statehouse Conversation and All Things Education Related: My favorite line reads: “One man’s good can be another man’s damage.”

(Florida) Lee forum tackles education: Interesting video discussing teacher pay as it is correlated to student test scores.

These are only some articles of reformation floating around. For more articles, see MY SEARCH.

The point of this blog post was to determine if these reformations were a result of a national trend toward education. My thought is that education reformation occurs around us everyday. The forums in which they are presented may be new, but the issues are not. Since the national hype, newspapers and other media have recognized that the national trend to talk about education reformation is what people want to hear the most, that is why we are seeing more coverage of reformation stories. The thing is people….regardless of coverage, these debates are still happening. If we really want changes in education, we need to do the research and find out for ourselves what our representatives are planning to do, and follow their debates. Not only are politics and issues driven by personal agenda, let us not forget that they are also driven by the people. If you get enough people supporting an issue, you will be heard. End of story. It is time to turn the political ‘trendiness’ of education reformation into something a little more purposeful and personal. Let’s make it a need.