Innovation within proven programs can be a good thing, when schools have fully embraced and thoroughly understand a given program and now can see where it can be improved or adapted to their circumstances. However, innovation too early in replication is likely to turn the best of innovations into mush.
We put the focus on everything else but the central issue of performance. This has resulted in a worsening skills gap, a disconnect between educational output and the human capital demands of industry, and a culture focused on getting kids into college rather than providing learners with what they need to be successful in their careers and lives.
I am pretty sure Sugata Mitra isn't hanging out with the same eight-year-olds I am. In the world Mitra describes, eight-year-olds are self-motivated and self-realized. The eight-year-olds I know, on the other hand, are downright goofy. Even the most focused and ambitious of them have pretty sketchy attention spans.
There are, of course, no silver bullets when it comes to education. But we are seeing islands of innovation across America, where digital tools hold the promise of revolutionizing the way teachers teach and students learn, empowering educators to personalize instruction so they can reach every student.