Email Status
 

Volume 12, Number 4
July/August 1996

The Disheartening Work of School Reform

Changing the fundamental rules and assumptions driving the status quo in education is harder than anyone imagined it would be

 

Defining a school's goals and standards is easy work compared with putting them into practice. As chairman of the Coalition of Essential Schools, I recently visited Massey High School (not its real name), a member of the Coalition, and found myself faced with powerful evidence of this truth.

My visit was carefully orchestrated. First I had a chat with the senior administrators, all of us having coffee in mugs decorated with the school logo and motto: Go Tigers! The mood was sober, realistic, but still optimistic. A student arrived to show me around. We made brief visits to a few classes, these room-by-room forays serving more to interrupt each lesson than to enlighten me, and ended with an extended session listening to the massed concert band practicing Brahms's Academic Festival Overture.

This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.

Share

Also by this Author