On a scale of (0)
most disagreement , to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, please
indicate how strongly you share a view:
_7.8 average response_____
that K-12 teachers need to be unleashed to try things they think will
improve student learning, without first having to gain approval from
that rather than giving K-12 teachers more freedom to innovate,
education leaders should continue to require teachers to do a better
job within the framework of long-held concepts of what constitutes a
that any effort at national standards that fails to leave the door
open for innovation represents an unacceptable risk for the future of
the nation's pupils.
that it's more important to enact uniform educational standards for
everyone than to allow innovations that might not be consistent with
that continuing to place highest priority on "equity" is so important
for disadvantaged students that, if necessary, other objectives such
as "excellence" probably will need to continue to receive lower
that uniformity produces mediocrity but learning by all students in
all situations will be enhanced with more freedom for innovation.
Terry Stone (10) (0)
(10)( 0) (0) (10)
Tom Spitznagle (6)
(4) (8) (5) (2) (7)
Wayne Jennings (9)
(2) (10) (1) (5) (9)
John Sievert (7.5)
(2.5) (10) (2.5) (0) (10)
also need to properly fund education so that there are the funds for
R&D and innovation. This also means using our overhead intelligently
and getting rid of largely failed experiments (i.e. unsupervised and
unaccountable charter schools, for instance). The concept of "Choice"
is a luxury we can no longer afford but we must, simultaneously let
our individual star teachers drive innovation and build innovation
into the DNA of our schools.
Cindy Nordstrom (7.5)
(0) (10) (0) (7.5) (10)
Chuck Denny (7.5) (0)
(10) (0) (0) (5)
Question 1: Innovation should
be encouraged, but there has to be some modicum of supervision.
Question 2: The traditional classroom
may not fit today's youth.
Question 4: We may need innovation to
even achieve a national standard.
Question 5: Low bars yield low
Question 6: Contradictory question.
Glenn Dorfman (7.5)
(5) (5) (10) (0) (0)
Question 1: Are they currently having
to get their materials approved? Should there be a basis (foundation)
test for what is used and what is not. When I started teaching in the
1960's, through the early 1970s, there were some who thought that
Playboy was appropriate because it motivated boys to read! Is the New
Testament an appropriate reading tool for a person of the Jewish
faith? This is different than a comparative course in world religions
where broad study of different scripture is appropriate. There should
be some way to baseline current methods against the newer innovations
that are used to improve student learning to determine if they are
working or not.
Question 2: This depends upon whether
traditional classroom efforts are producing thoughtful, knowledgeable
student. If they are working well, than they should be continued. If
not, trial and error pedagogy might be the answer or a more
intellectually gifted teacher.
Question 3: I cannot imagine national
education standards being static. They will and must change with the
demands the world brings for adaptation and progress.
Question 4: Uniform educational
standards (This is what a person graduating 5th, 8th and 12 grade
should know) are very important. The methods used to achieve these
outcomes should be broadly innovative in and geared to the students
who cannot achieve the standards by more traditional means.
Question 6: Uniformity produced
Mother Teresa, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates,
Jonas Salk and many of the rest of us. Calling the Great Generation or
the Baby Boom generation mediocre (they were educated in largest part
by a uniform public school system) is fundamentally inaccurate. If the
schools became mediocre, it had more to do with lack of parental
expectations/ demands and the insane preoccupation with making sure
students had a "good experience" where their self-worth was enhanced.
Of course, this psycho-babble is, in my view, why we are in this mess.
With some exceptions, people who are smart, who can navigate life's
path with alacrity and adapt to life's adversity are less mediocre.
Happiness is way over-rated when juxtaposed with competence/skill.
David Dillon (10)
(0) (10) (0) (0) (10)
Question 5: This is not a small
issue. The "excellence agenda" may be our only real hope to innovate
our way out of this seemingly impossible fiscal disaster.
(7.5)(0) (7.5) (0) (0) (10)
Question 1: Ideally, there would be
deliberative planning by teachers and timely, collaborative review and
approval by administrators. But, certainly, make sure teachers are
professionals and then give them professional latitude.
Question 3: There is nothing wrong
with well-constructed standardized testing and reporting results
against norms. Those results should be diagnostic and lead to
assurance of mastery whenever possible. It is very wrong to use those
results to prevent a student from graduating. Every student
"commences." After doing what it can to educate a student, the
education system needs to help the student take the most appropriate
next step. Portfolios and other alternatives to test scores and grade
point averages should be used both to make education more meaningful
and to find job placement or continuing education.
Lyall Schwarzkopf (5)
(3) (6) (6) (2) (7)
Paul Hauge (7.5) (5)
(8) (5) (6) (7)
Don Fraser (8) (2)
(8) (2) (2) (7)
Arvonne Fraser (8)
(4) (10) (4) (5) (8)
On no. 5 who defines
Peter Hennessey (7.5)
(2.5) (7.5) (2.5) (0) (7.5)
National standards are important to ensure a uniform and unifying
level of knowledge among the people. You can't have a nation without a
common cultural base. But a uniform standard is not the same as
uniform methods of teaching. One is the goal, the other is the means.
It has to remain flexible so all students with all levels of
intelligence, interest and motivation stand a chance to succeed. So
let's not fall into the trap of false dichotomies, which is a disease
peculiar to minds infested with leftist concepts of egalitarianism and
social "justice." Also let's not be too enamored of "innovation." We
have had formal education for about 5000 years; you'd think in all
that time we would have a pretty good idea of what works. We don't
have to suffer under the illusion that the world did not exist before
we were born, or that nothing that's old can possibly be any good, and
therefore we have to (re)invent everything from scratch.
Questions 2-6: This is a false choice. The
two are not mutually exclusive, they are complementary.
Rick Bishop (10) (5)
(10) (0) (0) (10)
an educator I believe the elephant in the room needs a complete
overhaul. Few are willing to look at successes in charter schools
and from such visionaries as John Taylor Gatto (who I brought to MN to
address school change at a MAAP Conference a number of years ago).
Carolyn Ring (8) (2)
(9) (2) (2) (10)
Let teachers innovate
and teach in different ways for different students. Life is full of
competition. We have been obsessed in education of trying to keep
everything equal and not give students incentive to excel and be
recognized for high achievement. I wrote my first Letter-To-The Editor
in 1954 bemoaning the fact many gifted students were lost to
mediocrity because of emphasis on underachievers and one size fits all
methods of education.e seem to have the same problems today.
Donald H. Anderson
(8) (3) (3) (0) (0) (8)
When I was a Junior in High School in the 1940's, our Math Teacher
felt we were good enough to have a Calculus class but the School
administration wouldn't allow him to do so. Things haven't changed
much since those days. We need more flexibility and innovation, if the
caliber of students, in the minds of those who actually teach the
students feel they are ready for a higher level experience.
Al Quie (10) (0) (10)
(5) (0) (10)
To me innovations have
to do with methods, activities, ideas, etc. and the uniform standards
ought to be outcomes like knowledge, skills and even behavior. That is
why in #4, I am not really neutral but want uniform basic educational
outcome standards but all the innovation possible in order to get
there. Those who say reading or math or character is not the most
important are right only if they think that in reaching those goals,
families, communities and schools are will neglect emotional, social
and creativity development.
am perplexed by the choices of answers I have. They make me think
that national standards would eliminate innovation. I believe that
there must be innovation, with the idea that innovation meet or exceed
a national standard. If you have no base line for a standard, how do
you measure improvement? Minimum standards don't tell you how to do a
job, just what the end results should be.
I work in manufacturing and we have minimum standards for every
product we make. People are always coming up with innovative ideas to
make the production process more efficient, or to improve the
product. I cannot believe that the same scenario could not take place
in the education environment.
Shirley Heaton (10)
(0) (10) (0) (10) (0)
With world-wide focus on education and the US being near the bottom in
producing well-educated people it's possible these guys can get their
message across to the movers and shakers. Back in the late 50's I
participated in a high school student program on job opportunity where
Westinghouse said the kids should be learning more about radio than TV
repair since the former placed them in stronger positions for current
job training. Educators response: "Ridiculous". Bricklaying companies
urged instructors to teach students using modern equipment. Educators
reply: "There's not enough difference between the two". Disney some
years ago built a state-of-the-art community near
Kissimmee experimenting with a new way of teaching -- no doubt along
the lines of the Caucus' current presentation. There was so much flack
that education out there is back to 'normal' procedures. I now mentor
a high school student through this area's Education Foundation 'Take
Stock in Children' program. She was failing in Algebra so I purchased
her a book 'Algebra for Dummies'. Today she's getting an A.
Kent Eklund (9) (3)
(8) (3) (3) (8)
Scott Halstead (7.5)
(2.5) (7.5) (1) (2.5) (10)
Bill Hamm (0) (0) (0)
(0) (0) (0)
Question 1: As a teacher once told me; I
was hired to teach curricula not create it. This allows teachers to
think they are smarter than they actually are. In the old days, (When
we were an education leader), both teachers and curricula were tested
by competition. No such means testing exists under this Socialist
Question 2: We need to backtrack to
the locally controlled model and scrap this Federally controlled
Socialist failure that cannot be fixed. Get out of our faces and let
us educate our children without your elitist interference. Unlike
some, I do not feel happy having these overeducated idiots making my
decisions for me.
Question 3: Any attempt at National
Standards is just more Socialist garbage that undermines any chance of
ever having a quality public education system again
Question 4: Neither standards nor
innovation will fix our education system but they will buy the
Socialist more time to use the education system to undermine our
children’s future and freedom.
Question 5: Equity was the excuse for
the Federal takeover of education. Those terrible white southerner who
wouldn't give those poor black folks a decent education was the
impetus of the education reform movement led by the newly established
and empowered Teachers Union and their crown prize the US Dept. of
Education. Education quality has been on a steady downhill slide ever
Question 6: Innovation is useless in
your Socialist cookie cutter model because it is not about what is
best for the individual student it is about what industry needs. Only
local control gives us back a child based education system. Innovation
only works in a system where it can be realistically and objectively
State Sen. Kevin
Dahle (10) (2.5) (10) (0) (2.5) (2.5)
Dick Angevine (7.5)
(2.5) (10) (0) (2.5) (5)
Question 1: Agree in principle but also
believe there needs to be some form of control.
Question 2: I believe there is
certainly room for improvement in teacher skills and that this will
help lead to improvements within the traditional classroom. On the
other hand, clearly there is room for new methods and innovation as
well. There is no single answer to our growing educational problems.
Question 5: While a great deal needs
to be done in the area of educating disadvantaged students (and their
families by the way) we cannot afford to do it in a way that reduces
the overall standard of achievement. That is a path to disaster.
Not sure I follow this. We must find
a way to educate all students appropriate to their skills and
abilities. The traditional systems are good in many cases but there is
no question that new methods must be found as well.
Trish Klein (10) (0)
(10) (0) (0) (0)
Question 1: Let administrators handle
policy and let teachers teach and be responsible and accountable for
daily operations of the classroom.
Question 2: Right.....
Question 6: Technology, peer
teaching, collaborative teaching styles, there are many models that
work to allow all students to achieve without just teaching to the
middle and leaving our highest achievers behind.
Jan Hively (7.5) (0)
(7.5) (0) (5) (10)
Question 1: It is important, however,
to build team collaboration among teachers and the best person to do
that is the principal. Teachers should not have to gain approval
before trying new things.... but they should inform the principal
about what's going on.
Question 2: I want teachers to do a
better job within the framework of what research tells us are good
teaching methods that fit with the ways children learn.
Question 4: It's importnat to enact
realistic standards for achievement, to give teachers authority to do
what they want/need to do to assure achievement, and to provide the
resources needed for teachers to get the job done.
Question 5: This is a biased
Question 6: Uniformity may or may not
produce mediocrity. The main thing is that teaching must be adapted to
fit diverse learning styles.
Cecilia Retelle (7.5)
(2.5) (7.5) (2.5) (10) (7.5)
Vici Oshiro (2.5)
2.5) (10) (0) (0) (10)
Question 1: Innovations need to come
from teamwork - a team that includes administrators. Students don't
have just one teacher.
Question 2: Some teachers need to do
a better job and should have access to the mentoring and other tools
to do so.
Karen R. Seashore (5)
(2.5) (10) (5) (5) (5)
Question 1: Teachers have a
great deal of creativity, but too much inconsistency between
classrooms creates terrible learning conditions for students. The
answer is that neither extreme is appropriate; a collaborative and
shared environment for innovation is needed.
Question 2: Traditional
classrooms are not going to disappear -- we've tried in the past, and
they come back because parents like them! Teachers need, as a group,
to be encouraged to innovate more, but we can find lots of good
learning in settings that have 1 adult and 20-30 students who meet,
most of the time, in face-to-face settings. I have seen it frequently
Question 3: There is very little in
the suggestions for national standards that would necessarily limit
innovation. Most developed countries that have wonderful teaching and
learning also have standards. The underlying assumption of this
statement is just plain silly -- but this is the U.S. -- we could
manage to develop standards that would inhibit innovation.
Question 4: It depends on the
standards. "Good standards" are helpful for teacher innovation because
they free them to focus on how to engage students in learning what we
all agree they should know and be able to do.
This is a political ploy. Excellence
and equity co-exist in many places. They cannot coexist in a system
that allows different standards for different students -- based on
where they live and what their parents do.
Question 6: Think of a normal curve.
Do we want a very long tail on either side -- two standard deviations
of students "left behind" while two standard deviations are allowed to
pull ahead? Or, do we want a distribution where the tails are shorter.
This is a choice that we may need to make. We have allowed lots of
room for innovation all over the U.S. for a hundred years: It has
produced mediocrity. The statement is based on a false assumption.
Mina Harrigan (7.5)
(0) (10) (7.5) (2.5) (7.5)
Question 4: National standards need to be
met; but they may also be exceeded and/ or added to.
Bob White (10) (0)
(10) (0) (2.5) (10)
David Gay (7.5) (0)
(7.5) (0) (2.5) (10)
Question 1: There needs to be both
freedom to innovate and a way to stop bad ideas before they are tried.
Question 2: The traditional classroom
does not work for all students. If it did we wouldn't have any
problems to overcome. To make true improvements, all students need to
make academic progress.
Question 3: It depends on what the
standards are. If they are a set of knowledge or skills students need
to acquire, that still leaves innovation in how that knowledge is
delivered. However, if the standards include "how the knowledge is to
be taught", all freedom is lost.
Question 4: The standards and
innovations are best when handled locally. The Federal Government
should have little or nothing to do with K-12 education. Each state
should have more input into the standards and policing the schools.
Each community should have the ultimate say through their school
Question 5: The needs of all students
need to be met. This includes both the disadvantaged and exceptional.
Otherwise, schools should be allowed to specialize in the types of
students they serve.
Question 6: We have to give every
student the same opportunities, but we can't expect exactly the same
Bob Brown (7.5) (0)
(10) (5) (0) (7.5)
Question 1: It is important to make
the administrators aware of what the teachers are doing. It can be
very upsetting to the system if teachers are doing something that the
administrators and boards are not aware of. This can be very
embarrassing to a school if something goes wrong- particlularly if
there is a violation of rights.
Question 4: Standards should relate
to outcomes with the method of obtaining those standards left to the
discretion of the teachers. It is important that standards not provide
a ceiling on expectations (i.e., basic skills standards), but a floor
so that students will be allowed to achieve as much as possible.
Question 5: The goal should be for
all students to reach their potential. Equity of opportunity means
giving everyone a chance to achieve. Much of what has been done in the
interests of equity in practice becomes a form of racism with
expectation too low for some disadvantaged students.
Question 6: Many students have
achieved reasonable well in the traditional system, but I believe more
students would accomplish more if competent teachers assisted them in
innovative ways. However, having incompetent teachers leading kids in
"innovative " ways may lead to virtually no learning at all.
Bert LeMunyon (7.5)
(2.5) (7.5) (2.5) (0) (7.5)
Daniel Neale (7.5)
(7.5) (10) (2.5) (5) (7.5)
Question 1: Unleash? A teacher needs
consulting with other teachers and administrators.
Question 3: I see too much of efforts
to national narrow standards for all without flexible.
Question 5: "Equity" and "excellence"
needs to specify these words.
Kevin Edberg (8)(3)
(8) (4) (4) (4)
Jim Keller (9) (2)
(9) (2) (2) (9)
(10) (0) (10) (0) (5) (10)