Climbing school-reform’s Everest

OPINION – Register Guard

A stubborn obstacle to efforts to improve Oregon’s education system is that people think they know what schools are like — everyone once attended school, and many have children or grandchildren enrolled now. That makes everyone an expert, and experts don’t need to listen to others.

But schools today are different than they were a generation ago, or even five years ago. So are the social, political and economic contexts surrounding public education. And anyone who imagines that their children or grandchildren are giving them a complete picture of what’s going on in their schools understands neither young people nor schools.

The difficult job of setting aside outdated or misinformed ideas about the current state of Oregon’s schools begins with a willingness to listen. For that reason, it’s encouraging that the state Legislature’s latest effort to come up with an education reform plan is starting with a statewide listening tour. The first stop was in Lane County on March 26. Read more…

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