Wednesday, November 25, 2009
What if we are shooting at the wrong target?
Just like Matthew Emmons lost his chance at a medal in the 3 position rifle event when he shot at the wrong target in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, is there a chance that the U.S. is missing it shot at being a world leader.
For years now, the U.S. has been pursuing standards based and test based achievement in schools. The problems with formulating these measures state by state has led to discussion of a national standard. Who knows the resources that have been spent and will be spent in the attempt to figure out these standards? However, I have a different perspective born out of my ten year old son's fascination with Bill Gates.
Bill Gates is an outlier, but certainly not possible to ignore. My son wants to be the next Bill Gates. I began to think "what is it about his school that would encourage him to be the next Bill Gates?" Then I broadened that question to schools, in general. Phrased another way, "What is it about standards based education that would encourage my son to be the next Bill Gates?" The answer I came to is: nothing. There is nothing about the current measures of education that encourage entrepreneurial, creative thinking.
So, what if we are shooting at the wrong target?