April 19, 2012
Are Lawmakers Asking Too Much of Our Schools?

It’s clear that school leaders and their associations should be speaking up more forcefully about overregulation. If it’s an obstacle to improving schools and to the wise use of scarce resources, they have an obligation to both students and taxpayers to say so. Because of pushback from school leaders in the state, a commission created by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo provided some mandate relief to schools last year, including providing leeway to run buses based on actual ridership and not on the number of eligible students. The Port Washington school district estimated that it would save $2 million a year if it could run fewer but fuller buses, once this one-size fits-all statewide mandate was eliminated.
Reducing bureaucratic requirements for schools is generally a step in the right direction, but maybe part of the solution is to also re-examine our own expectations of what schools should even accomplish in the first place. Asking school leaders to improve instruction, raise standards, and create school climates that are respectful and conducive to learning is reasonable, and sensible regulation here is warranted. But that’s not all we demand; schools are routinely required to advance social improvement missions that often have little or nothing to do with education. Asking schools to take on every do-gooder mission that occurs to us may be going overboard. At what point, it’s fair to ask, have we created a “to do” list that’s so long and convoluted that not even the most committed and savvy school leader can accomplish it?
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

Are Lawmakers Asking Too Much of Our Schools?

It’s clear that school leaders and their associations should be speaking up more forcefully about overregulation. If it’s an obstacle to improving schools and to the wise use of scarce resources, they have an obligation to both students and taxpayers to say so. Because of pushback from school leaders in the state, a commission created by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo provided some mandate relief to schools last year, including providing leeway to run buses based on actual ridership and not on the number of eligible students. The Port Washington school district estimated that it would save $2 million a year if it could run fewer but fuller buses, once this one-size fits-all statewide mandate was eliminated.

Reducing bureaucratic requirements for schools is generally a step in the right direction, but maybe part of the solution is to also re-examine our own expectations of what schools should even accomplish in the first place. Asking school leaders to improve instruction, raise standards, and create school climates that are respectful and conducive to learning is reasonable, and sensible regulation here is warranted. But that’s not all we demand; schools are routinely required to advance social improvement missions that often have little or nothing to do with education. Asking schools to take on every do-gooder mission that occurs to us may be going overboard. At what point, it’s fair to ask, have we created a “to do” list that’s so long and convoluted that not even the most committed and savvy school leader can accomplish it?

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

  1. riya-patel08 reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    http://www.schoolanduniversity.com/study-programs/education/educational-leadership
  2. speckled-axe reblogged this from theatlantic
  3. scottlikestoast reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Good, quick read.
  4. mnlleann reblogged this from theatlantic
  5. zillion12345 reblogged this from adventuresinlearning
  6. cableknit-knight reblogged this from theatlantic
  7. oplibearian reblogged this from theatlantic
  8. adventuresinlearning reblogged this from jotmatt and added:
    What a complex issue this is. There is so much mis-trust in education from all sides. We need to return trust to...
  9. jotmatt reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Good article…
  10. ramadiiwolf reblogged this from theatlantic
  11. franklyanna reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Are Lawmakers Asking Too Much of Our Schools? It’s clear that school leaders and their associations should be speaking...
  12. freedomofwhat reblogged this from theatlantic
  13. malcontentment reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    THIS. If there’s one thing I’ve learned through casual observation as well as through collegiate study it’s that no...
  14. simplyscott reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    calling out parents and the community for major lack of involvement in schools is still a basic place to begin for...
  15. contemplatingchicken reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    This is a pretty bullshit article. Seriously? Including “anti-bullying policies” in a “to do” list of “social...