When I went into public education, I thought that my experience of innovation and creativity in the IT business world would be useful and appreciated. My experience has been useful, but I’ve discovered that the system isn’t really interested in innovation. The people who work in the system are some of the hardest working, most decent people I’ve ever encountered – and that’s after having analyzed communications and information flow at lots of organizations including Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, 3M, Univac, New Hampshire lobster boat manufacturers, and meat packing plants in NW Iowa.

But the system is an incredibly entrenched entangled mess of bureaucracies. The system could use some alternative thinking.

We need different kinds of teachers, certified and authenticated through diverse channels. I’ve argued, though, that we don’t have a really good way of measuring standards and outcomes. My point is that we need to prove the outcomes, first.

Getting my teaching license via a ‘traditional’ college route twenty years after my first graduate school experience more than convinced me that the schools of education were/are horrendously inefficient at preparing new teachers. My primary reason for believing this is that the system in place ignored the technology possibilities literally at hand.

I had a student teaching supervisor who wouldn’t let my student teacher sync her Palm M30 with mine when I was using it for lessons plans in 2002. That student teacher was required to write out the lesson plans on the ‘mimeographed’ form. Well, maybe it was ‘Xeroxed.’

I’m also on record in many places advocating for new ways to measure teacher performance. Changing the way we assess teachers, could and should mean that we need different tech tools and methods to effectively track their progress and performance. I came into teaching from years in sales management and consulting to sales managers about ways to measure performance of business to business IT sales people. It involves a lot of ‘teaching’ in order sell new products. It’s the same thing. Tell me why education can’t adapt to this thinking.

If you want to follow Dan’s thoughts on his own blog, you can read him at Developing Professional Staff

And at The Stone Arch Bridge Initiative for Education Resources

You can follow Dan on Twitter @sabier

Make sure to follow @edreformer on Twitter for updates on new blog posts, news, and events.


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