Checker Finn: It's time to scrap our calamitous edu-governance model

2011 may already be a banner year for education reform (in part thanks to the foundation laid in 2010). Policymakers and education activists in many states (and in D.C.) have just cause to smile?and to soak in the victories that have been won. But don't assume that these victories will be long-held?or that they will spell great change for our hobbling education system?without targeted and sweeping changes to the nation's education governance structure. We can no longer ignore our antiquated governance arrangement?no matter if the subject bores us or we view attempts to change it as politically futile.

So says Checker Finn in the journal Defining Ideas, a Hoover Institution Journal, released today.

He goes on to explain whence our current one-size-fits-all model of schooling originated?and why it's such a lemon now. Yet, despite all this, Finn notes that ?structural change in education is not totally impossible.? It'll be a hard squeeze?and will require not just the creation of lemonade but the planting of a whole new orchard of different fruits.

Finn further outlines what a new governance arrangement might look like, at least in part:

With the governor squarely in charge of education, states would wield most of the authority and provide most of the money, but those dollars would follow kids to the schools of their choice, which would largely run themselves, selecting their staffs, managing their budgets, etc. Most would be brick and mortar structures but many classes would be online. Some schools would be entirely ?virtual.? All sorts of schools would join together for various purposes and purchase services (if they choose to) from regional centers that take the place of today's school districts. Academic standards in core subjects would be the same across the land, as would tests and other gauges of performance.

And there's more. Now go read the essay for yourself.

?Daniela Fairchild

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