Opinion
Education Opinion

What Didn’t Happen in 2014

By Peter Greene — December 24, 2014 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

We’re reaching the end of 2014, close enough that there’s nothing left for policymakers to do except a few trying-to-stay-below-the-radar gestures. (Hey, Connecticut! Your governor just gave his appointees an up-to-12 percent raise! Merry Christmas!) But the big events of the year are past us, and I think it’s safe to put together our list of Things That Did Not Happen in 2014.

Common Core Did Not Garner More Love

The groundswell of grass roots support for common core seems to have gotten lost in the same dark hole as missing socks, the Iraqis waiting to greet us as liberators, and my hair. There has been more than ample opportunity for teachers across the country to say, “Well, now I can see this is actually awesome,” and for opponents of the national standards movement to say, “I have to admit; now that I can see it in action, I might have been too hasty to condemn.”

That has not happened. The biggest proponents of the core are still the folks who make a living advocating for the reform movement (and the biggest opponents are folks who don’t make a living in the Resistance). There’s a related question that remains unanswered this year—if reformsters like Gates and Walton stopped pumping money into CCSS support, would it be able to survive strictly on merit and grassroots love?

Administration Did Not Come Out In Support of Public Education

Duncan and the rest of the Obama administration occasionally make mouth noises that would seem to support public education, but can anybody point to a single policy or action of the department this year (ever, actually, but I’m just writing about this year) that was an unequivocal move in favor of U.S. public education?

They’ve worked hard for charters. They’ve gone to the wall and helped cut deals for education corporations. They made sure that predatory for-profit college operators stay afloat. But at no point did Duncan et al advocate for public education or the people who work there.

Next Generation Tests Still Haven’t Arrived

It’s possible they’re just in the mail, because folks have been saying these are coming any minute now for, well, many many minutes. But the tests our students are all taking still encourage test prepping and then measure an inch deep and an inch wide. The only way reformsters get away with the “no more bubble tests” line is because now students click on the multiple choice answer with a mouse instead of bubbling it in with a pencil.

The closest we’ve gotten to a next generation is the insistence that we can now score essay writing with a computer (spoiler alert: no, we can’t).

America Did Not Hit 100% Mark

2014 was, of course, the magical year in which No Child Left Behind would create an America in which 100 percent of our students were above average. We did not do that (we also did not, as a nation, spin straw into gold or master cold fusion or open successful unicorn farms).

Apparently we were not even close. While some states have backed away from Race to the Top and NCLB waivers, they cited reasons such as Evil Federal Overreaching Pinko Naughtiness. Nobody looked at the waivers and said, “No, thanks, but we have this 100 percent of students above average thing totally under control, so NCLB doesn’t scare us at all.”

Will any of these events finally occur in 2015? Are there other Important Education Events that still haven’t happened, despite all our anticipation? Share your list in the comments section, and enjoy the holidays.

The opinions expressed in View From the Cheap Seats are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management
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
Student Well-Being Webinar
Building Teacher Capacity for Social-Emotional Learning
Set goals that support adult well-being and social-emotional learning: register today!


Content provided by Panorama
Jobs October 2021 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.

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 Gunman in 2018 Parkland School Massacre Pleads Guilty
A jury will decide whether Nikolas Cruz will be executed for one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings.
3 min read
Annika Dworet and her husband, Mitch Dworet, wipe away tears as their son's name is read aloud during Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz's guilty plea on all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 shootings, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The Dworet's son, Nicholas Dworet, 17, was killed in the massacre.
Annika Dworet and her husband, Mitch Dworet, wipe away tears as their son's name is read aloud during Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz's guilty plea on all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 shootings, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The Dworet's son, Nicholas Dworet, 17, was killed in the massacre.
Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP
Education Briefly Stated: October 20, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Gunman in Parkland School Massacre to Plead Guilty
The gunman who killed 14 students and three staff members at a Florida high school will plead guilty to their murders, his attorneys said.
4 min read
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is sworn in before pleading guilty, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on all four criminal counts stemming from his attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, Cruz's lawyers said Friday that he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school.
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is sworn in before pleading guilty, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on all four criminal counts stemming from his attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, Cruz's lawyers said Friday that he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school.
Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP
Education California Makes Ethnic Studies a High School Requirement
California is among the first in the nation to require students to take a course in ethnic studies to get a diploma starting in 2029-30.
4 min read
FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2020, file photo, Democratic Assembly members, from left, James Ramos, Chris Holden Jose Medina, and Rudy Salas, Jr., right, huddle during an Assembly session in Sacramento, Calif. Medina's bill to make ethnic studies a high school requirement was signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)