What Do Delaware Students Want?

Over eleven years ago, a report came out from the Delaware Department of Education.  The topic was Delaware students and what they were looking for in education.  This is a voice that is often marginalized when it comes to education policy.  The adults are the ones that make the big decisions but it impacts students the most.  Students didn’t choose Common Core and standardized tests.  But they are the ones that have to deal with it.  After students, teachers should have a stronger voice as well.

Back in the Secretary of Education Valerie Woodruff years, long before Race To The Top and Common Core but during the No Child Left Behind years, Delaware students were invited to speak out.  I appreciate some of the raw answers these students gave.  We need to do this again in Delaware.

2 thoughts on “What Do Delaware Students Want?

  1. Once upon a time any bureaucracy wakes up to see what’s out there. Once every decade about describes the frequency how often that happens, though, some sufficiently large bureaucracies like GMC wake up even less often, something like every 40 years right before they run into bankruptcy.

    Nothing to see here, all the answers collected will be put into graphs, presented to the whatever agency may offer a way to get a pay raise, and once the pay raise is accomplished, these will go into one of those dead weight “libraries/archives” like Biden Library to sit untouched for the next 25+ years until another bureaucrat decides that some of the ideas/thoughts can be claimed as his/her.

    Have there been a REAL feedback channel, these “surveys” will be happening every quarter and the results could be traced by those submitting them. We have enough technology to accomplish this with a relatively low budget (NOT indian contractors or close buddies) and painlessly make it available to all willing to participate. We don’t have any feedback channels. They are not needed. The Bureaucracy works as it is just fine without them.

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    • Let’s refine what I’ve said above.

      Any so-called “lets hear them speak out” attempts at figuring out what’s really going on at the bottom of the food chain (aka those “served”) one way or the other are not really meant to be heard the way it is so loudly trumpeted/advertised/sold/presented. The information thus obtained, in whichever raw format, will have to be properly digested by the deep bowels of “the system”, meaning, matched with the frame of reference that would allow “the system” to understand the words that were spoken/written.

      Now, the mentioned “reference system” is only as good as what was put into it concepts-wise, and I doubt that many of those concepts are representing the real world and real concepts. For that “the system” will have to widen its horizons, so to speak, as in “allow for new concepts to come in” and as I stated above, a decade represents the shortest possible time frame between such occasions. In between “the system” is too busy with its internal happenings to pay attention to anything else, thus, ignoring the world.

      Any system is as good as its inputs, and presently DOE inputs are quite busy processing its internal workings, elections, reelections, various fraction fights, etc etc. Whoever grabs the mike for the longest and yells the loudest drowns any other inputs – and students’ voices are one of them.

      Here’s my take – such “sessions” should be MANDATORY AT LEAST ONCE A QUARTER, the results should be archived online and available for all to rewind any time – AND – this is even more important – DOE should have a transparent, easily traceable process how it reacts to these. Boards do not need to be called into action – it is DOE who calls the shots and boards comply – as simple as that! Furthermore, if during one of this sessions a critical issue has been addressed, DOE has the responsibility to shove their internal workings to the far shelf and ACT!

      This I will call “listening in” – in a sense a proper fully functional Townhall Meeting where citizens are heard and actions are taken – since we basically have none as far as our education goes, this is the only way I can think how relatively straight forward, with minimum politics involved, it can happen. And no, lobbyists/private-interests/advisors/whatever are NOT part of this process – they are to be kept under a watchful eye.

      Hope this explains what said better.

      And I know examples where this approach works – but it is not in Delaware and not even in the US. As I’ve said numerous times here and elsewhere, if we are not to learn from the best – them why even bother?

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