The Purpose Of School: To Help Grow American Citizens

What exactly is the public purpose of school? Why do communities invest in the education of all their young, instead of simply leaving the task of education to families? We know that parents send children to school for a host of reasons, but the larger purpose–the communal goal–is worth considering.

Let me assert my hypothesis: the public education system has been highjacked by people obsessed with measurement, so much so that children are reduced to their test scores.

For about 40 years most school reform efforts have been directed at symptoms, such as low graduation rates, low test scores, or “the achievement gap.”

While these s0-called reforms sound great and may even produce temporary improvements, they inevitably fail because they are not addressing the root cause of our educational problems: an approach to schooling that is mired in the past and cannot fulfill the needs of the twenty-first century.

[Read More]