EdMedia Commons Archive

Public school system dying?

At the Aspen Institute, during a lively, stimulating discussion today on a new book called “The Futures of Education Reform,” Richard Elmore of Harvard Graduate School of Education threw out a real firebomb. He suggested that public education is stuck in a state of inertia, that it’s too hidebound to reform. In fact, he went as far as to say that the institution is dying and all the reform efforts he’s involved in at various schools and districts are “palliative care.”

He argues that the system is too hierarchical and that education is separating from learning. He also went on to suggest that the new forms of education would come from developing countries, not the U.S. and not Europe. In fact, he recommended viewing two Ted Talks on how kids are getting taught in developing countries: Sugata Mitra and Charles Leadbeater.

It’s a provocative stand. I’d love to hear comments about it.

This post originally appeared on EWA’s now-defunct online community, EdMedia Commons. Old content from EMC will appear in the Ed Beat archives.