Educational Reform – a term widely used and rarely accomplished, partly because it’s the way it’s always been done. Status quo.
Entrenched thinking limits us. We must be comfortable inventing new systems to educate and assess children. We must be comfortable questioning the methods we currently have in place. We must be comfortable embarking on new strategies. We must be brave and inventive, or we will remain stuck and continue to stagnate rather than progress.
We could measure student achievement through a different lens.
If we step back and ask what we really want for our students, a parent’s list might look something like this:
- My child is learning—he comes home with interesting knowledge every day.
- My child loves learning.
- My child is excited about school and happy to go to school.
- My child continues to improve in all areas of his education.
- My child is engaged.
- My child enjoys a sense of individuality.
- My child enjoys a sense of security and emotional stability.
- My child is confident in his thinking and in his abilities.
- My child can respectfully collaborate and communicate with others.
- My child is resourceful.
- My child is curious about the world around him.
- My child is creative and innovative.
- My child has good work habits and a solid work ethic; he is self-driven.
- My child can think critically, solve problems, and reason.
- My child cares about product presentation and quality.
- My child can focus on a task at hand.
- My child participates in discussions and class activities.
- My child is responsible and dependable.
- My child is pursuing his talents and his own passions.
- My child is exposed to many perspectives.
- My child can respectfully speak his mind in school and respects the opinions of others.
- My child can generally make appropriate decisions and chooses wisely.
Reform is possible. A school environment that offers the above to its students is possible. Orsch knows it’s possible because we’ve done it. These essential elements of a child’s development and school experience are measurable, but the lens is not a standardized lens. If the potential to create such an environment exists, we must move toward that potential—this is educational reform.