It strikes me that perhaps much motivation for American, Australian, Canadian, English(, etc) education reform movements has to do with bolstering the next generation so much in their employable skills as to try to ensure near non-existant jobless rates, thus leaving more in the kitty for the ageing baby-boomers who are driving this truck. Am I being too pessimistic?
Under every wish to reform is some sort of religiosity towards a certain way of life, wishing to impose itself upon others.
Of course I believe that children should have good literacy skills, but you don’t teach literacy by teaching to the test. Same with numeracy. Without getting at a teacher’s passion, you will never ensure that the children have a living experience of the word and of practical and abstract logic. Give them a challenge worth conquering and an example worth following. Give them authority worth looking up to – engaged, passionate teacher-learners in a complex world, which only promises more complexity in the future.
Do you want students to learn to resent or learn to take on the challenge?
Future challenges will only be worth their time if they learn to love the world, see beauty and worth in other human beings and learn the skills necessary (and obviously necessary) to them making a difference.
What are you reforming an old, mechanical, broken system for?
Where is the garden of learning?