I appreciated the Globe magazine’s ten ideas for transforming K-12 education, (Oct. 1) but found nothing transformational, and that the ideas fail to address our fundamental problem- the core architecture of our schools, vintage 1890. All kids of the same age, all together, all day long, from kindergarten through 12th grade. All students taught the same material, in the same way, for the same allotted chunks of time. All learning done inside the building, divorced from community. All kids ranked from top to bottom, with “success” limited to a predictable percentage. No learning science has ever supported these ideas! No wonder one of your recommendations is to reduce student stress. As Clayton Christensen said in his 2012 book, Disrupting Class, “our nation has been unable or unwilling to facilitate the entrance of new models to replace a failing public system”.
Not since Theodore Sizer has anyone been forceful and persistent in saying it’s not the people within the institution – the kids and teachers- that are the problem, it’s the school model itself. Policy makers and state departments of education have abetted the failure by continuing to lock in the current system and practices. Philanthropies don’t press for smarter efforts or true innovation. Our MA business community, despite its brains and influence, only asks for more charter schools. Everyone seems happy with the present “arrangements”. Until we do more than tinker around the edges, we can expect the same results.
Dr. Larry M. Myatt
Founder, Fenway High School
Education Resources Consortium