A glimpse into part of the problem with a bloated educational bureaucracy

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From an email:

Innovation and Improvement Launches Rising Star Survey for School Districts

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has worked intentionally and strategically over the past five years to realize a One State, One Plan goal. Rising Star is intended to support districts and schools in creating one plan by:
a) integrating work across initiatives,
b) linking research to selected objectives, and
c) leveraging resources (time, people, materials and money) in support of the one plan.
The objective was to offer Illinois districts and schools an easily navigated and streamlined central planning tool to achieve this goal.

ISBE, with support from the Midwest Comprehensive Center at American Institutes for Research, is administering this survey of Illinois school and district leaders in order to better understand how Rising Star is helpful at the local level and how it might be improved. Please provide your feedback about Rising Star and how it supports your continuous improvement processes: …

Etc.

Eduhonesty: No wonder Illinois is close to broke!

Aside from that, “One State, One Plan” hardly sounds like a good idea. Individual school districts across the state are vastly different in their students mixes and academic results.

Here’s the real problem, though. This sort of plan requires school districts to put in an enormous amount of time on plans only tangentially related to instruction. I have spent weeks out of the classroom trying to help implement Rising Star in my school district. My students were not the better for my absences. I’m not sure anyone was.

I’m afraid I may sound too negative. It’s not that I don’t think fixes are needed. But I think those fixes ought to take place at the local level. The problems at Manley High School in Chicago barely resemble the problems at Springfield High School in Springfield, Illinois. Some problems are universal across school systems, but many are particular to individual schools.

Our student population is diversifying. Working to standardize education in the face of this diversification has little chance of success.