A few days ago I thought to myself that the more things change, the more things stay the same. This is true in every aspect of life both in big things and small mundane things. I mention this in writing this today because I think that we often swing the pendulum from one side to the other without realizing that the middle is a very reasonable place to be.
Using education as an example- why would we think that no accountability and/or testing would be a good idea? It is a terrible idea. Why on the other hand would we think that testing/teaching to the test/only concentrating on test results would be an effective way to measure students knowledge? We have to seek the middle ground. Immersion of all special education students when it is not in a child's best interest is also another failed swing of the pendulum. Students should not be isolated and kept within the confines of a place where only other special needs students are. This is again, a ridiculous idea. Students should learn with their peers if at all possible and when it is in to the child's best learning interest, mainstreamed with the support that they need.
In our own lives we seek balance- fun, work, play, work, rest, work, busy, relaxed, hungry, full, family, friends, time alone, fun, work, play, work...you get the idea. Why would we not seek the same for our students who spend 6, 7 or more hours at school? I grew up and went to school in the 70's and while everything in education was not perfect, I know for a fact that life was much more in balance for the kids. We had recess, physical education, music, art, while still learning how to think, read, write, do math, science, social studies...We fit it in because the administrators figured out that balance was the key.
I hope that for our kid's sake that we figure this whole "education" thing out soon. A generation of brain power is at stake.