Teachers and Policymakers: Different Pictures, Different Actions

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

This is a post I wrote over nine years ago and re-post now because I still believe it is relevant in describing the different worlds teachers and policymakers inhabit.  When a new policy (e.g., Common Core standards, “personalized learning”) travels from a school board through the superintendent’s suite, to the principal’s office that journey reveals anew stark differences between policymakers and teachers, differences that have been around for decades but, too often go steer clear of open discussion.

These are actual radio messages sent to and from a U.S. navy ship a number of years ago.

U.S. Navy Ship: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the
North to avoid a collision.

Reply: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to avoid a collision.

Ship: This is the captain of a U.S. Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

Reply: No, I say again you divert YOUR course.


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