Taking Rand Paul To Task On Education

by Dish Staff

Math teacher James Goodman eviscerates the author of The School Revolution:

According to Politico, Rand Paul is “planning a major push on education reform, including education choice, school choice, vouchers, charter schools, you name it.” As one specific example for improving education, Paul suggested that “if you have one person in the country who is, like, the best at explaining calculus, that person maybe should teach every calculus class in the country.” He allowed that “You’d still have local teachers to reinforce and try to explain and help the kids, but you’d have some of these extraordinary teachers teaching millions of people in the classroom.” …

Part of the problem with the perpetuity of education reform is that everyone is looking for the answer to the question, “How do we best teach?” as though there is some formula that is ultimately the best.

They see teaching as a science experiment – as though one set of conditions and stimuli will prove to be optimal. That’s not what it is. It is an art. Two great teachers may do things completely differently from each other. Furthermore, no two classes of students are the same. One great teacher may teach the same thing in very different ways to different groups of kids, depending on their strengths, personalities and the real-time feedback that the teacher reads from her class. Again, this is something that requires a talented, knowledgeable classroom teacher (the one directing the instruction and activity at each moment) who cultivates a relationship with each student – anathema to Paul’s description of his own vision of education.