Not Hopeful about Congress; Not Waiting

The National Journal asked how more R’s would change the congressional debate.  I think the short answer is ‘not much.’
It’s hard to be hopeful about congress on any front these days. There are some weird scenarios like a coalition of union supporters and tea baggers rallying for local control and dismantling most of NCLB in 2011, but more likely the overdue fixes will be punted to 2012 (with some administrative action by Duncan’s team).
As Lomax said, let’s do what we can and celebrate what’s underway. The RttT fund assessment consortia and Common Core will frame the next decade of US education the way NCLB did the last. RttT work is initiated, charters are expanding, turnarounds are underway, and most states will retain some form of accountability.
In December the Digital Learning Council, chaired by Governors Bush & Wise will launch a policy platform for the decade to come–a ‘constitution for the revolution’ as one member puts it. Online learning is bigger than charter schools and doubling every 3 years. New tools are reshaping schools, and new blended schools are reshaping community options.
Is George Miller Superman? Perhaps, but no need to wait and find out. Let’s make the most of what’s underway.

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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