Wednesday, November 7, 2012

CES Fall Forum in Providence, Here I Come!

This week on NPR I heard a story about applications that are trying to make it easier for people to find a ride. Lyft, for instance, offers users the opportunity to input their location and destination for a random driver who happens to be on the road close to them to find them, pick them up, and take them where they need to go.

Part of the remaining story included concerns from the taxi industries in major cities who are afraid of how this will hurt their business.

It made me think about innovation and tradition, two things that conflict more often than not.

In education, it is clear we need innovation. What is also clear, however, is that some things that have been done for quite some time have been done that way because they work. What troubles me is the people who come into the field without context and begin wrecking things that have been done with good sense, things that we've learned work for students and communities.

This got me thinking that the speed with which we're willing to move forward with change should depend on what we're changing.

Frivolous changes without strong research ought to be more carefully considered when applied to fundamental institutions of our democracy than when applied to things largely done for entertainment, for example.

This week I have the opportunity to attend the Coalition of Essential Schools Fall Forum in Providence Rhode Island. If there was ever a group of professionals devoted to careful consideration of research-based practices aimed at transforming schooling and education, it's CES. If we could only have a little more of our national education reform talk geared around their principles, I think we'd all be in a little better place.

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