For more than fifty years now the left has been telling us that ALL OF THEIR IDEAS ARE GOOD and that they are PROGRESSIVE IDEAS, leaving you to believe that they have a lock on what the future is going to be and what is best for all of us. As an educator I can tell you that the left hasn't had any new ideas for the more than the fifty years that I referenced above. Their shrill and didactic messaging has done a good job of drowning out the REAL new and PROGRESSIVE ideas THAT COME FROM THE RIGHT.
I am so tired of Montessori that I could THROW UP!! There is no evidence what so ever that these free school strategies and ideas work. I remember when Montessori classes were first introduced in Helena. The advocates had the gall to say that students coming out of Montessori would be so far superior to all the other students when they got to middle school that everyone would want to be in Montessori!! Ha- Ha- no such thing ever occurred. But, did the school district get rid of Montessori classes? NO!! They got more of them because these so called "progressives" wanted them!! These classes continue but the proof of their success is just not there.
I went to college in the 70's. NOTHING in the free school rhetoric has changed. Common Core promotes "collaborative" learning and the teacher being the "guide by the side". What kind of schooling do you think that is? IT'S THE SAME OLD FREE SCHOOL GARBAGE THAT HAS NEVER WORKED!! Meanwhile we could be moving on to making our education and our nation stronger. Let's explore what COULD be happening if our schools weren't being held captive by tired old failed liberal ideas of the past.
First of all- competition works. America has the strongest economy and is the richest nation because competition works- period. The more we follow Marxist ideas the more we move our economy and our country backwards. I was at the Transportation Museum in Reno recently and the guide there told us that after Henry Ford came out with his assembly line IDEA for making cars,the number of car companies went from 220 to 10!! That's how many bad IDEAS were out there. We try many times before we find the RIGHT IDEA THAT WORKS. Through COMPETITION the car manufacturing industry was able to get the BEST IDEAS and produce GOOD CARS THAT PEOPLE COULD AFFORD. In school we have allowed competition to be smothered and old failing IDEAS to go on and on and be repackaged and renamed and continue to fail. Government control and centralized planning kill innovation and real progress. The unions hate charter schools- but maybe charter schools are just the thing we need in order to try out IDEAS and see what is TRULY SUCCESSFUL.
Second of all - many things that we do in traditional structured learning have had trials and been found to be the most successful. Many IDEAS have withstood the tests of time and are enduring. It is absolutely foolish to think that everything from the past was bad and only what we think of in the present day is RIGHT. Good change comes slowly and incrementally, respecting what works from the past and changing and adding with great care.
Finally, we need to get the Federal Government and all centralized planners out of our schools. Common Core was thought up by bureaucrats behind closed doors. I can't think of a worse scenario for destroying education. Education needs the light of day and control by parents and teachers in the local setting. Parents, teachers and local school boards will decide what works and throw out what doesn't. The IDEA of freedom, and of our country, is the belief in the ABILITY OF THE PEOPLE TO DECIDE.
There are so many good IDEAS to try, like improving teacher training in the colleges to prepare experts at every grade level. IDEAS about controlling bad behaviors or questioning techniques or how to meet the needs of different individual learners. Many of them might be found not to work. We can compete and choose on the local level what is working. Bureaucratic control and top down governance breeds special interests and powerful lobbies for money. All of that will go away when Washington D.C.- the Federal Department of Education, goes away. Let freedom and competition ring throughout our education in America- unstrangle our voices and our IDEAS. Let America and our schools go- let us become what we can be- really strong and really successful with people that REALLY want America to be the greatest country on this earth.