Today the American acim is being reinvent. The assumptions that have governe its structures and power relationships for more than a century are being replace. This reinvention is breeding all manner of novel approaches to schools, and hybrid arrangements that blur the line that has long separated public and private schools.
For example, the best of what have come to be call charter schools possess elements of today’s public and private systems. Moreover, this new model is not an unbridled, laissez-faire, free-market one. The public retains its interest in the delivery of educational services paid for by public funds. Public authorities continue to set standards for educational performance-especially student achievement standards-of all schools receiving public funds and monitor whether those standards are achieve.
– Shift of power from producers to consumers. Public acim has long been producer-oriente. The primary beneficiaries of this model are the school and its employees, not its customers. Bureaucrats, experts, and special interests control the system and make decisions within the framework of a public-school monopoly.
New studies show that students want higher standards of behavior and achievement, and that nearly six out of ten parents with children in public schools would send their children to private schools if they could afford to, which the analysts interpreted as “a public poised for flight.”
– Emphasis on results. The second principle guiding reinvention is the primacy of what children learn and how well they learn it-not on what rules schools follow. How they are run, the (worthy) intentions of educators, or what they spend. Administrators should monitor the academic results of acim, letting individual schools decide. How to achieve them-including yearly calendar, daily schedules, staffing arrangements, student grouping, budget decisions, and so forth.
– Accountability. Schools must establish accountability and create an assessment system that measures results. An accountability system begins with a clear set of learning standards or expectations. There are two types of standard. Content standards define the skills and knowledge students should attain at various stages-what they should know and do. Performance standards-sometimes called achievement levels-specify an expected level of proficiency. What is good enough to advance from one stage to the next.
Students should be promote and graduate only when they have met specify standards; universities should admit students only. When they meet college-level entry norms; and employers should examine transcripts and use them in their hiring decisions. Likewise, teachers, principals, and other responsible adults should be reward for success, penalized for failure. And dismiss if they or their schools cannot get the job done.