The archaic agrarian school calendar is just one more reminder of how education is not keeping up with the times, argues Arthur Rothkopf. Or as he puts it, "how many bushels of corn has your child harvested this summer?" It's an excellent question and the answer, of course, is zero.
But enough with the funny stuff, since Rothkopf is making a good point:
So why is nothing being done? Tragically, the biggest barrier to our competitiveness is the fear of competition itself. Entrenched special interest groups prefer the status quo, as it rewards longevity and bureaucracy over performance and innovation. It stands to reason that teachers and administrators with sedentary attitudes toward education will only continue to produce intellectually sedentary students.
Our children deserve professionals in the classroom, and our ability to stay competitive in a global economy demands that it happen. Yet, while professionals from nearly every other walk of life are held accountable for their performance, most teachers are not. Rather than defending the status quo, teachers' unions and school administrators should be at the forefront of an agenda to create professional, empowered, innovative, and flexible educators who are agents of change and progress....