State Superintendent Tommy Bice explains to a crowd of educators at Calhoun Community College that there’s a lot that should go into education reform.
But to craft the Alabama 2020 plan, they tried to set aside the legislature and other outside influences.
Bice says, “We kind of set everything aside. Not to ignore them, but said, if we identify the needs of our children and developed a plan to meet those needs, what would it look like.”
This crowd seemed receptive to Bice’s suggestions, specifically changing the focus of education in the state.
Bice notes, “It was an unintended consequence of No Child Left Behind. We spend a lot of time preparing children to take a test, because that was the determinant of whether schools were successful or not. But those tests measure very low-level sorts of academics.”
So instead of test taking, Bice wants to emphasize testing out new ideas, “The remedy is to change the way we teach. Set standards that ask children to not only be able to know and understand content but to be able to apply it to real world situations.”
And if this crowd is any indication, educators will jump at the chance.