The Futures of School Reform: Five Pathways to Fundamentally Reshaping American Schooling

From the American Enterprise Institute:

Despite nearly 30 years of K–12 school reform efforts, the United States still has substantial gaps in student achievement by race and class. To make more substantial progress, reformers must question conventional assumptions and more aggressively reshape key aspects of the American school system. Five broad pathways could fundamentally improve American schooling: transforming the system by enhancing teacher quality and knowledge, replacing the current system with a set of new actors and institutions, “unbundling” the current system and reassembling it anew, expanding the system by linking school to society, or gradually dissolving the system and connecting students to the world of knowledge.

The report includes this summary:

Key points in this Outlook:

• Many efforts to reform American schooling over the past few decades have done little to address substantial student achievement gaps or improve the US educational ranking internationally.

• Existing efforts make limited headway because they do not seek to fundamentally change the core structure of American schooling.

• Substantial change is possible if reformers craft a longer-term strategy to alter the school system itself, and possible pathways include transforming, replacing, reassembling, expanding, or even gradually dissolving the system, all of which would require the courage to effect bold change.

Read the entire report…