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Forecasts on Education in the US

The future forecast of what the coming years have includes a number of new theories about things like "gift" economies, sustainable environments, and new civic processes as well assessing the future trends in education. One dilemma is the tension between the marketplace for increasingly personalized learning and the social mandate of the public schools to provide foundational education to everyone. But this doesn't include varying income levels or what people can afford. Our global society is starting to fragment into subcultures each with their own strong belief systems.

So what do these trends mean for education? Recently U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced the approval of two growth models that follow the bright-line principles of the "No Child Left Behind" program. It seems that now our states have finally developed the framework in which they can measure student skills every year, as the law requires.

Spellings has asked the states to participate and to demonstrate progress over time so that we can later adapt a more sophisticated measurement system to be shared by all states. This is known as the growth model or value-added approach. The reality is that whether we are talking about the U. S. Department of Education's program, or the hundreds of other private or non-profit programs in place across the U.

S. - and therefore it's really about accountability and results for each student. One example is Jonathan, who before attending his Create Success after school program in Brooklyn New York, can now solve any math problem because of the extra "individualized" help. Plus he discovered that he loved to learn.

"It's fun here," said Jonathan. "Discussions help him of his homework completed." Once his homework is finished you can find him searching the bookshelves for his favorite topic - reptiles. It is all about holding schools accountable for the goal of each student performing at or above grade level by 2014. So, the Department of Education will gather data to measure student improvement while holding the schools accountable for results.

Another theory out there is focusing on experiments in sharing or "gift" economies, sustainable environments, and new civic processes -- basically the fact that local value grows economies of group connectivity, and that this combined with fears of globalism, political gridlock, and some concerns over dominance of big business will create a revival of localism. Think tanks are also assessing the future of education. One of the dilemmas that they have identified is the tension between the marketplace for increasingly personalized learning and the social mandate of the public schools to provide foundational education to everyone — regardless of the backgrounds of poeple or their income levels.

Other thoughts include economics, urban space expansion and the fact that society is starting to fragment into subcultures with strong belief systems. In order for our children to do better in school, it is important to begin to understand the reasons why they are not doing well. In researching the various trends and strategies in education, everyone, including educators and parents alike, can communicate more effectively about the issues. It was in 1997 when Congress first formed the National Reading Panel to evaluate the research on teaching practices to determine what really works.

Thereafter, the Federal government's No Child Left Behind Act required that school districts use scientifically proven instructional methods as they strive to make all children proficient in math and reading by 2014.

Kristin Gabriel is an author and social media marketing professional and works with Rocco Basile (http://www.roccobasile.org ) of the the Basile Builders Group based in New York. Basile is involved with several charities including Children of the City and the Joe DiMaggio Committee for Xaverian High School.

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