How about Differentiating Ed Reform?

There is a lot of change going on in education today.  There is lot of information I read daily on Twitter, blogs, Google +, and in newspapers regarding the state of education.  Some of it is spot on, some of it is filled with hyperbole, and some of it is so wrong I can feel the collective minds of passionate educators exploding across the country.  Whatever the case, anyone who follows education these days knows there is a lot of controversy about if what we are doing is right for students, teachers, schools, communities, and our nation.  One thing for sure is that the change we are seeing is something ALL public schools are going through no matter what state, county, or town.  I’d rather not get into the why of this but more the result of this kind of ed reform.  You see, anyone in education knows some of the bigger focuses today in schools are personalized learning and differentiated instruction for our students. Schools are expected to personalize and differentiate their instruction because this can truly maximize the learning for all students.  I believe in this.  While it is a huge challenge to do so and American teachers spend far too much time teaching leaving them with less planning time than most nations in the world, personalizing and differentiating instruction is best for our students.  With that being said, it strikes me as ironic that the ed reform we see across our country is the EXACT opposite of what we are expected to do as effective educators.  Ed reform is one size fits all.  Whether you are at an inner city school, a suburban district, or a school in a rural area, we all bound by the same policies mandated by the government.  While some of these policies may come with the best of intentions, they are fundamentally flawed.  Ed reform and the policies we see as a result of this ed reform, should be held to the same expectation we as educators are held to; it must be personalized and differentiated.  To think that every district in New Jersey has the same needs and needs the same ed reform is only something that can imagined by people who aren’t in the education profession.  But I guess that does make sense because those who are writing the ed reform policies aren’t educators. What we do and how we do what we do isn’t on their radar. Otherwise, we might see ed reform that looks different than what we are dealing with today. How about listening to those in this profession? How about working with us to personalize and differentiate effective and meaningful ed reform so we can see the changes I believe we all want for our students and children?  Isn’t it time for differentiating ed reform?

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