Monday, December 18, 2006

I'm Not Dead and "Innovation"

Yes I know, I have been slacking... you try raising six kids. First the local education stuff:

A few weeks ago, we got a letter home informing us that our 3rd grade son had been selected for an after school tutoring program called the "Stretch" program. Basically, twice a week kids who have the potential to score advanced on the South Carolina PACT will be receive extra tutoring. They are going to spend 7 sessions each on math, language arts, social studies, and science, with the soul purpose of boosting the schools test scores. Several thoughts:

1. Isn't this why he is in the Talented and Gifted program... this is what the TAG program should be about instead of all the "inquiry" based (read art projects) that they do. I did talk to the schools curriculum director and she told me that basically the TAG program is district run so they have no input, but this program is set up and run by the school.

2. Our other 3rd grader who is a little behind in her decoding skills only gets tutoring once a week. Average students get no extra help at all. It makes me wonder about the schools priorities.

3. Of course its blatant teaching to the test, but if it benefits my child then I am willing to take advantage.

Now on to Innovation:

Innovation is the latest "buzz word" that I keep reading about. Supposedly "innovation" is the key to our countries future. If we just fostered more innovation in schools, our country will maintain its lead in the global market.


Yep, I said it. Innovation as near as I can figure out it a way of saying that schools need more "inquiriy" learning and that facts are outdated. Don't get me wrong, innovation is important in todays global market place, but the for every innovator out there in the work place there has to be another hundred employees that perform the routine day to day tasks. Our country isn't lacking in innovators. Our competive swim or sink capitalist based economic system ensures that there will always be innovators out there ready to capitalize on the next great idea... think Google. Not everyone can be a Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Our country needs many many more mid-level managers, systems analysts, technichians, nurses, machinists... you get the point.