Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

‘The New, Improved Educational Machine’ Strikes a Chord

January 09, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

“The New, Improved Educational Machine” (Commentary, Dec. 13, 2006) is a breath of fresh air. Peter W. Cookson Jr.’s observations are the sensible and respectful comments of someone who offers the reader (and Washington, if it is listening) a glimmer of hope in what has become a featureless landscape of testing and controlling.

The American workforce has been the envy of the world precisely because our nation’s education system has served a diverse population, using no single instructional paradigm, no single set of test results, no cut-and-dried formula for educational success.

Dean Cookson has the right idea. Let us join him in pushing back the Washington hacks who want to make political capital on the backs of our nation’s children.

America would be better served if Washington turned its attentions to leveling the socioeconomic playing field and implementing school reforms that foster the growth of free, creative minds capable of original thinking. Doing anything less is a waste of our greatest natural resource: our children.

Sylvia Blake

Associate Provost

Long Island University

Westchester Graduate Campus

Purchase, N.Y.

To the Editor:

Peter W. Cookson Jr. sends a message in his Commentary that our politicians and school leaders need to pay attention to. I have been trying to send this message for almost 50 years with some success, but it’s not enough.

Are we at last ready to understand that the “educational machine” is inside of us—in motivation and effort, perseverance, and creativity—and not outside of us in machines or even in laws? I sincerely want to believe that we are ready to come to this major understanding, and to support what it takes to improve our students’ internal educational machines.

Dorothy Rich

Founder/President

Home and School Institute

Washington, D.C.

A version of this article appeared in the January 10, 2007 edition of Education Week as ‘The New, Improved Educational Machine’ Strikes a Chord

Events

English-Language Learners Webinar Helping English-Learners Through Improved Parent Outreach: Strategies That Work
Communicating with families is key to helping students thrive – and that’s become even more apparent during a pandemic that’s upended student well-being and forced constant logistical changes in schools. Educators should pay particular attention
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.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Addressing Unfinished Learning in Math: Providing Tutoring at Scale
Most states as well as the federal government have landed on tutoring as a key strategy to address unfinished learning from the pandemic. Take math, for example. Studies have found that students lost more ground
Content provided by Yup Math Tutoring
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

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 Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education How Schools Are Getting Kids the COVID Shot, and Why Some Aren’t
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to helping overcome hesitancy.
5 min read
A girl walks outside of a mobile vaccine unit after getting the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, outside P.S. 277, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Education Biden Administration Urges Schools to Provide COVID-19 Shots, Information for Kids
The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host vaccine clinics for kids and information on benefits of the shots.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Biden is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Education Civil Rights Groups Sue Tennessee Over Law Against Transgender Student Athletes
The state law bars transgender athletes from playing public high school or middle school sports aligned with their gender identity.
3 min read
Amy Allen, the mother of an 8th grade transgender son, speaks after a Human Rights Campaign round table discussion on anti-transgender laws in Nashville, Tenn. on May 21, 2021.
Amy Allen, the mother of an 8th grade transgender son, speaks after a Human Rights Campaign round table discussion on anti-transgender laws in Nashville, Tenn. on May 21, 2021.
Mark Humphrey/AP