It is interesting to watch and listen to how the Education Reform Commission hearings progress. Listening to the experts that were asked to testify and then hearing the community that comes to speak, presents a picture of the field of education that is scattered, jagged, and without pertinent connection or communication between and among the stakeholders outside or inside specific stakeholder groups.
Though the Commission asks for solutions to the situations presented on their web page, most of the experts that speak, business leaders, education leaders, and community leaders, come to garner support for their business, district/school, and community organization, but present few concrete solutions to the problems presented.
The community that comes to speak generally presents a view of what is wrong with the system of education with very cursory solutions that are outside the scope or influence of the commission.
However, there are those, from the community speakers, who have spoken and offered viable solutions to the most pressing problems that exist in education, mis-education at the elementary level.
Speakers, in Buffalo, New York, and Vestal, have consistently called for mandatory early childhood education and small class sizes. Experiential or expeditionary learning has accompanied these solutions.
At each public hearing there have been advocates for a renewed commitment to the Contract for Excellence agreement.
It is unfortunate that more of the three hours the Commission has set aside is not filled with what they are calling for, solutions. Here is a perfect opportunity for those who have worked diligently in and on education, for years, compiling information pertaining to what is wrong and how to fix it, to present their position and the solutions they have derived from their years of dedicated work to the committee.
Though many believe that the Education Reform Committee is just another red herring meant to push the business model approach to education, it should not be allowed to be or become such a venue.
The voice of the education community, those closest to the problem, should be resounding, loud and clear, at every hearing.
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