Tuesday, November 04, 2008

President Obama's Education Agenda

His agenda is much broader and deeper than my thinking, and includes much of this. But here's my two cents anyway:

Education remains the civil rights AND economic development issue of the 21st century. Addressing it means addressing simultaneous challenges:
• Shift the focus of our educational institutions from what is taught to what is learned
• Ensure ALL students are prepared to succeed in a global knowledge economy
• Expand resources available, and use available resources as efficiently as possible

Addressing these challenges requires many things. A few about which I know something include:
• National standards, including 21st century skills
• High-quality assessments of those national standards
• Technology to deliver curriculum and instruction, support intervention, and reduce costs

Some of the other things I know are important, but about which I know less, include:
• Funding and policy built around outcomes instead of processes (e.g., high school diplomas based on competency, not seat time)
• Investment in pre-K education, and changes in child care policies and institutions to accommodate that
• Resources and policy and institutional reforms to improve the “talent pipeline” into the teaching profession
• Professional development to support teachers in shifting role from instructor to learning coach


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