Education Letter to the Editor

New, Efficient Models for Solving Old Problems

August 30, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

In her Aug. 10, 2005, Commentary, “The Fork Debate,” Laura Thomas makes some important points about why we do what we do when we talk about school improvement. I have a bit of advice for her and her husband: You may find that your impasse over the direction of fork tines in the dishwasher might best be settled by getting a new, efficient dishwasher. Then it will not matter which way you load the forks!

Likewise, the nation may need a new, efficient school model in order to significantly improve student learning. The late-19th-century factory model—schools full of children who want to be there, learning to read, write, and calculate—is not consistent with our 21st-century situation. The factory model, when successful, allowed educators to push out nonachievers, and it was cheap. It worked fairly well in the past, but it does not have much promise for a 21st-century society hoping to serve all its children and youths.

What about an alternative that considers the current nature of schooling, taking into account students’ educational needs, society’s needs, and modern learning technology? We are educated enough to design and implement a new model, but are we focused enough to do so?

Jess P. Elliott

Atlanta, Ga.


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
Challenging the Stigma: Emotions and STEM
STEM isn't just equations and logic. Join this webinar and discover how emotions fuel innovation, creativity, & problem-solving in STEM!
Content provided by Project Lead The Way

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 31, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education In Their Own Words The Stories That Stuck With Us, 2023 Edition
Our newsroom selected five stories as among the highlights of our work. Here's why.
4 min read
102523 IMSE Reading BS
Adria Malcolm for Education Week