Bill Honig’s Building Better Schools is intended to help you navigate the school reform debate so that you can focus on what top performers do. It is a place where the supporting ideas, research, and exemplary models of the Build-and-Support approach are available and kept fresh. I invite you to join the conversation.
My goal is to help educators and parents understand how Build-and-Support enables schools, districts, states, and nations to achieve extraordinary results. I especially want to assist governors, mayors, legislators, and their staffs who wish to resist or reverse the disappointing results of conventional school reform by arming them with facts, arguments, and the unassailable research that points the way to lasting success.
A great debate has been raging in this country about the best way to improve our schools. As each state and district grapples with the polemics of school reform, this is the opportune time to engage in a thoughtful discussion focused on successful practices and empirical evidence.
To that end, I have written 16 articles. I begin with the educational goals we should want for our children, then address whether conventional school reforms such as high-stakes testing or large-scale expansion of charter schools has worked, and, finally, examine what top performers do to improve results. You can read these BBS Articles sequentially or individually.
The School Improvement Debate
In late 2015, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaces the Bush-sponsored No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the Obama administration’s Race to the Top, and other reform efforts. The new bill greatly diminishes the federal role in education and, for the most part, shifts the responsibility for devising policies that will improve educational performance to states and local districts. We find ourselves presented with two main options—a Test-and-Punish approach or a Build-and-Support approach. READ MORE