Thursday, October 11, 2012

School in a Box: What's Next?

So Pearson, the testing giant who stands to profit most from this latest revamp of standards (here comes the Common Core) introduced its newest "innovation" last week: school in a box.

"Pearson is in discussions with groups aiming to establish the new schools through the government’s flagship plan to raise education standards.

It would provide a “school in a box” — from teacher training, textbooks, software systems to exam assessment."

This latest catastrophe in standardization of your children is thankfully being piloted overseas, but watch out; the US tends to leap at anything "new" and could easily market this to potential schools as a way to quickly and easily offer "choice."

I am starting a school as I write. Have started a school, actually. And I can tell you right now, there is no way this box is going to make it happen. There is no book that you can read, no set of software, no program or assessment that can be packed in a box, even in combination, that will help you start a school. Just like our children, each school has a heartbeat, is unique, requires nuturing.

Prisons. You could start those from a box.

Assembly line factories. Those could be started from a box.

But not schools. Never schools. People email me all the time asking how to start a school, and I ask them how long they have to listen to me talk. As we enter this new era of expansion at HoneyFern, the conversation is even longer.

School in a box? Catastrophe.

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