We are unique in pursuing so much testing, punitive measures against schools and teachers, and the creation of so many independent charter schools. At the same time, we are ignoring financial inequality among schools and school districts.
According to CUNY college tests, only 1.1 percent of the New Height Academy's graduates were actually prepared to do college level work without remediation. This is for a charter school that received a grade of "A" from New York City Department of Education assessors.
Fostering a nation of creative thinkers will serve the U.S. well in an increasingly global and technological economy. After all, one of the most successful and profitable companies in the world is Apple.
It's obviously a good thing to consider all forms of evidence when providing performance feedback to employees. But teaching is not like golf, you can't reduce it to a single score for one contributor.
Eliminating "tenure" may be politically popular, but eroding due process and the 'just cause' standard creates an environment where even good teachers can be fired just 'cause it serves some other interest.
The German model is akin to the vision Obama articulated in his speech: high-end manufacturing that we export to the world. It's a good vision. High-end manufacturing should be a core part of our economy.
Social media has become a mobilizing force in bringing together students, educators, and parents who are frustrated with the data-driven, standardized, one-size-fits all learning taking place in publicly-funded schools today.