Posts about Vice Chairmans Perspective

February 17, 2016

"Is America's Education Problem Really Just a Teacher Problem?": Thoughts on Freakonomics Radio's Recent Podcast

As an education network with thousands of students around the country, we're always keeping our finger on the pulse of education news and commentary. Below I share my thoughts on the re-airing of the Freakonomic's Radio Podcast that hit a few important nerves as regards getting to the heart of the underperformance of the American education system:

The Freakonomics podcast, "Is America's Education Problem Really Just a Teacher Problem" that re-aired a few weeks ago is both heartening and at the last, somewhat disappointing.

Heartening, as I have known few educators, deeply rooted in the classroom, that do not believe that the quality of a learning culture is determined by the quality of teachers in the classroom. That is not mere self-regard, but comes from the long experience of watching educational fads come and go.  I usually measure the impact of fads, not in the positive, but the negative: how little harm was done to the intellectual vitality of the classroom and the excitement teachers and students felt each day as the work of learning and teaching began. The message of the podcast, “we have not an education problem, but a teacher problem”, is refreshing amidst the bustle and distraction of education reformers chasing bright shiny objects.

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