Innovation in Education

“In successful, self-improving systems, new ideas get tried and early adopters pick them up. Initially, most people remain with the traditional ways, but as the new strategy improves, people shift. In time, a transformation occurs; sometimes rapidly.

Unfortunately, education policy does not work like that. Deep inside, its working premise is to develop a consensus on “The Right Way,” and then to engineer a comprehensive transformation politically. But arguing alternative futures is not the route to change. Imagine doing that with communications or transportation: arguing land line vs. cellphone, and gasoline-powered vs. electric or hybrid. We’d never get consensus on one right way. Instead, we’d be where we are with education.

Most systems combine improvement and innovation. Why can’t we do that with a system as important as public education?”

–Ted Kolderie, “Getting Beyond One ‘Right Way of K-12 Reform” on EdWeek