I've been thinking about Mark Zuckerberg's $100,000,000 donation to the Newark public schools. It's a nice gesture, even though he clearly did it to offset the negative portrayal of him in the film The Social Network. Nevermind. But the truth is that even a hundred million is a tiny drop in the bucket and won't do much but flatter the millionaires who provide the requisite matching funds.
They'll do some high profile "innovative" things, but, like most reforms, it will all under deliver. One of the problems with reform is that every couple of years, teachers are asked to do everything differently, to start over, do it this way or that and to do it under an incredible amount of pressure. This works on the factory floor, but in education it's better to see teaching for what it is, as an art rather than as an efficiency profession, and to have great art you need to let artists be artists. Artists perform best under certain conditions: in a comfortable and inspiring environment; with access to high quality tools, resources, and supplies whether technological or analog; and encouragement from the administration/universe under which they work to discover, create and perform their art. Provide these conditions, set our teacher-artists free (pay them a lot more) and you will see some incredible results. Humans trump machines. Artists trump workers. Anyway, that's the kind of school to which I want to send my son. Is that the kind of school you want to work in?
Teach and be well,