Education Editorial: What is education reform

By: Bill Bosher - email

Joel Klein, former Chancellor of the New York City Public Schools, is considered one of the greatest local educational reformers.

Governor Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, is thought to have created the most significant educational reform of any Governor in America.

What does it mean to reform education? Well technically reform is consider to generate improvement…a condition that is important in all that we do.

This week Governor Bob McDonnell convened a "K-12 Education Reform Summit". It included five present and former Governors from around the country as well as national and state educational leaders…including Joel Klein and Gov. Jindal.

While most praised Virginia as having one of the best K-12 systems in the country, all agreed that "reform" was necessary if young people are to be ready for the jobs and competition that lie ahead.

The strategies were pervasive: change teaching from a "trade" to a profession and recruit and compensate the very best, create more choices for young people and families with a focus on school and individual performance, and integrate digital applications with significant changes in the way we see time and the school day.

Virginia released it test scores this week and as expected, the math scores were down because the bar had been raised. There are those who don't like raising the bar because it is uncomfortable, but the reality is that performance will increase with higher expectations.

The recent London Olympics had a vignette that focused on Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile, a fete that was thought to be impossible. With Dr. Bannister watching in his hometown, the 5000-meter race was won by a runner who ran the final mile of the race in under four minutes.

Reform is health and produces results.

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