7th 2010
Isn’t It Time We Call Ourselves Education Transformers? How Cool Would That Be?

Posted under Independence Institute & Innovation and Reform & Just For Fun & Research & Teachers

Yesterday I brought your attention to a new report on what effective teacher evaluation systems should look like, and expressed my wish that the implementation of SB 191 ends up reflecting the six principles in schools across Colorado. It wasn’t much later that local education reformer Amy Slothower posted about some of her recent frustrating experience observing Denver Public Schools stuck in a rut on — guess what? — the teacher evaluation system. Here are some key paragraphs:

I’ve been working in education reform for 10 years now, and I’ve come to accept that this business is full of frustrations and battles over divergent interests and an achingly slow pace of change. However, the A-Plus Denver committee meeting I attended this morning has me so aggravated that I am moved to do something I’ve never done before: blog about it!…

The presenter this morning was Henry Roman, president of the DCTA. He was asked to speak about the progress that the joint DCTA/DPS committee has made to date, but instead he essentially talked for the full 90 minutes about all the “challenges” of creating an effective teacher evaluation system. I’m sure a lot of those challenges are real, and I personally have no expertise in teacher evaluations, so my exasperation is not about the details of the work that is or is not happening….

The bureaucratic headwinds that are bogging down this particular process are just one example of why I am such an ardent believer in autonomous schools. While 900 Grant Street is spending years upon years and millions upon millions of dollars trying to decide on minutiae like, “do classroom assignments have to be randomized for evaluations to be legitimate?” autonomous schools are actually getting the work done.

A few interesting and lively comments have ensued, including one from my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow.

Reading Ms. Slothower’s heartfelt account of crippling school district bureaucracy and union obstruction, as well as the online discussion it has provoked, has got me thinking. Maybe calling what I like to blog about and advocate for all the time education reform really isn’t bold enough. Maybe we need to think bigger, for the sake of many kids my age who face a bleak future of sub-par schooling.

Optimus Prime Transformer Toy, from toyshout.comInstead of Education Reformers, shouldn’t we call ourselves Education Transformers? You’ve got to admit the name sounds a lot cooler. I have a few of the toys in my room, though they aren’t as fun to play with as the old ones (the unbroken ones, at least) from my uncle’s childhood collection.

So what do you say, everyone: Is it time to be Education Transformers? After all, there’s more to Eddie than meets the eye.


14 Responses to “Isn’t It Time We Call Ourselves Education Transformers? How Cool Would That Be?”

  1. Remainders: A principal scrambles to explain her “F” | GothamSchools on 07 Oct 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    [...] Are “education transformers” the new “education reformers”? (Ed is Watching) [...]

  2. Ed is Watching » School Leaders Unite in Washington Post: Teacher and Choice Reforms Needed Now on 11 Oct 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    [...] in all, though, we can be certain there’s a lot of important work left for us Education Transformers to do, and much of it will require more than treading delicately around the edges. Thanks to [...]

  3. Ed is Watching » State Board of Education Transformers: A Colorado Election Season (After)Thought? on 21 Oct 2010 at 11:46 am #

    [...] the State Board. But I’ll go a step further: Wouldn’t it be a lot cooler to have some education transformers? A State Board where there’s “more than meets the eye,” maybe — but [...]

  4. Ed is Watching » Forget the Election: Tomorrow Brings Big U.S. Supreme Court School Choice Case on 02 Nov 2010 at 11:09 am #

    [...] Everybody’s got the election on the brain today, but there is something maybe even bigger going on out there that is of concern to us education transformers. [...]

  5. Ed is Watching » State Ed Board Chair Bob Schaffer Boldly Speaks for Parental, Not Federal, Power on 06 Dec 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    [...] no more taking for granted the value of federal involvement in our state’s K-12 education. We education “transformers” can begin to rest and take a break when parental power in education meets or exceeds the power of [...]

  6. Ed is Watching » A Quiet Legislative Session for K-12? Transformers Still Must Make Noise on 10 Jan 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    [...] Time to preview Colorado’s upcoming legislative session and the debates over bills and policies that could affect K-12 education in our state. Session starts in two days, and Ed News Colorado has posted the annual preview by Todd Engdahl — a must-read for local education transformers. [...]

  7. Ed is Watching » Education Next Editors Duke It Out over Reformers’ Success in Battle of Ideas on 02 Feb 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    [...] venerable Checker Finn, Paul Peterson and Marci Kanstoroom, who argue that education reformers (or education transformers, as I prefer) still have some distance to go to claim victory in the battle of ideas: It’s way, [...]

  8. Ed is Watching » Hoping Colorado’s New Education Commissioner Will Be a Chief for Change on 19 Apr 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    [...] next monthly Board meeting (May 11 and 12). Whoever it ends up being, I hope the leader is a true education transformer, someone who would be at home fitting in with the 10 state education commissioners who form the [...]

  9. Ed is Watching » Innosight Blended Learning Encyclopedia a True Wealth of Innovative Information on 04 May 2011 at 11:20 am #

    [...] I say but, “Wow?” (I know, bad rhetorical question, because here goes….) All you education transformers out there should be aware of a new Innosight Institute report by Heather Staker titled The rise of [...]

  10. Ed is Watching » Education Next Survey Shows Support for Vouchers Rising, Other Reforms Flat on 04 Aug 2011 at 10:55 am #

    [...] be perfectly frank, the results are a mixed bag for reformers and transformers. Support for charter schools, merit pay, tenure reform and tax credits are all about the same as [...]

  11. Ed is Watching » Bad News in Colorado Remediation Rates Renews Call for Transformation on 09 Feb 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    [...] Hopefully, someone out there can dive deeper into some of the numbers and give us a better picture of which schools are struggling… and perhaps even some concrete answers to the question “why?”. I’m sure almost no one is satisfied with the progress or the results in the area of remediation. Any suggestions that more money simply be poured into the status quo model need to be greeted with a hefty dose of skepticism, though. Bring on the education transformers… [...]

  12. Ed is Watching » Of Broken Records or Repeating MP3 Files: Colorado Remediation Rate Still Too High on 18 Apr 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    [...] I said last year, time to look at education transformation. I hate being a broken record, or a repeating MP3 file. But Colorado can do [...]

  13. Ed is Watching » Dougco’s Market Pay Innovation Draws Attention, Gives Hope of Progress on 11 Jun 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    [...] a doubt, it’s easy for us Education Transformers to get impatient at the pace of progress, and that’s when any positive change appears to be [...]

  14. Ed is Watching » School Choice Enhances Results, Expands Understanding of “Public Education” on 29 Jul 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    [...] all you education transformers out there, I’ve got something for you to take to heart. Seriously, here’s your [...]

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