So I posted a comment off of a D-Ed Reckoning article today. The original post suggested that education research is wasted money and cited Reading First as evidence. I commented that it wasn’t research that was the problem; it was those who won’t implement it.
I commented as follows:
I don’t think that research is the problem. Without it, we wouldn’t have recognized the demographics on either side of the achievement gap, after all. I agree, however, that many teachers don’t want to implement what research proves. Granted, there’s always research that disproves other research, and granted, there’s always the data of the month that is brought in by every new administrator as a means to put their mark on a school, but I happen to agree that there is a contingent of teachers out there who don’t want to do the most obvious of researched and tested strategies.
Collaboration, for instance, is harder then isolated teaching. As a result, you get two groups in every school: those who will and those who won’t. Differentiation, on one level or another, is harder then whole-class, teacher-centered learning. As a result, you get those who will and those who won’t.
It isn’t the research that’s the problem. It’s the teachers who won’t step up and evolve based on it. Sure, not all the money can go to research. And, sure, if I were only given 5 billion dollars, I sure as heck wouldn’t spend it on research, but education has many needs and research can meet some of them.
Now, if you want to talk about using that 5 billion to AUDIT education (at every level, mind you: federal, state, district, and site), well, now, there’s money well spent.
To read more on my views on auditing education, read my post here.