Below is the link to the entire 107 page Global21 manual “A Chronicle of West Virginia’s Global21 Initiative (2004-2011)” created by the West Virginia's Dept. of Education Bureaucracy for other states to see what great things they are doing. Also a section of the Executive Summary, which I have high lighted as follows:
My comments are in BLUE Italics.
Black Bold and Red are my highlights of the main focus of the project that is all about the bureaucracy and the student is secondary. This program was started in 2004.
This program was begun 8 years ago. It is touted as a long range program. So how much longer, and how much more money is it going to cost to raise West Virginia from #49 in student achievement (according to the U.S.Dept. Of education) to #48? I realize it has only been 8 years so far.
The following is taken from "The Executive Summary" section:
The structure of this chronicle, organized into nine major sections, is adapted from the nine steps to build momentum and seven strategies for a successful statewide 21st century skills initiative delineated by The Partnership for 21st Century Skills in its publications, Learning for the 21st Century: A Report and MILE Guide for 21st Century Skills (2002) and A State Leaders Action Guide to 21st Century Skills: A New Vision for Education (2006).
The links to these publications DO NOT WORK. Therefore it is impossible to see what this is based upon. AND WHAT IS P21???
The sections are organized as follows:
- 21st Century Vision (Broad Consensus/Shared Vision). State leaders at the highest level
- Data Analysis, Planning, and Process Design. The state engages in comprehensive analyses of data in order to strategically plan
- Management and Organization. The WVDE reorganizes its divisions and offices to optimally support the initiative.
- Standards and Curriculum Aligned with 21st Century Skills. The WVDE ensures that curriculum standards incorporate 21st century skills, have the appropriate levels of rigor and relevance, and align with national and international standards
- Programmatic Initiatives to Support Rigorous Content and Student Achievement. (student achievement seems an after thought as the following description indicates)The WVDE develops or repurposes programs to support the 21st century learning needs of the state’s students, ensuring that a comprehensive array of programs are available to support all aspects of curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional development, and the needs of diverse learners.
- Technology Integration to Support Rigorous Content and Student Achievement. Given the critical importance of technology in the 21st century, the WVDE is modeling the comprehensive and innovative uses of technology by embedding technology integration across the entire initiative, including professional development, instruction, assessment, and instructional resources.
- 21st Century Assessments. Assessments are aligned to the content, context, and learning tools of the 21st century, as defined by P21.
8. Ongoing Professional Development in 21st Century Skills.
9. Collaboration with Outside Partners.
The remainder of this document, which contains many hyperlinks to additional information, elaborates on West Virginia’s implementation of the (above) nine core structural elements of the state’s Global21 Initiative from 2004 through June 2011. The WVDE is committed to continuing to document the process, structures, and resources to support the implementation of 21st century instruction and learning.
This is ALL about the BUREAUCRACY. The student is hardly mentioned. Like all Dept. of Education “new solution” over the past 30 years, nice sounding bureaucratic bull to snow the people, spending more money on the system, producing lots of benefits... for everyone except student achievement. And the next new solution will be... (definitely more spending and a bigger bureaucracy)
Question: What is P21? Links in the above linked manual, are not working. Whether or not they shed light on what this Global21 is based on is unknown. This manual does not tell us. It provides links that do not work – at least at this time (1/7/2012).
Further on in another section:
1.2.1 Teacher Forums
Voices from the Field was a series of gatherings held around the state in February and March 2006. More than 800 teachers were asked to provide their insights about 21st century skills. At each gathering, the teachers split into small groups and answered two questions:
1. What knowledge and skills does a West Virginia graduate need to succeed in the 21st century? 2. What do you, as a teacher, need to educate a 21st century learner?
Responses are posted online by the county in which each focus group was held (Berkeley, Cabell, Greenbrier, Marion, Ohio, Putnam, Raleigh, and Wood).
The responses to the 2nd question, what the teachers need: (these links actually worked) is basically more training for the teachers, more free time for planning and preparation, and more money. So we have to educate and bribe the teachers before they can educate the students. And take into account that different teachers learn in different ways “the needs of diverse learners”. At least according to “Voices From the Field.”
RIGHT! It will work just like all the other new solutions over the past 30 years, great for those that benefit from the system... lousy for student achievement.
Oh but give it time... 8 years is not enough. What is? 30? Before we try the next new boondoggle?
PEOPLE... School choice is proven to work. And public schools even improve because of the competition. ESPECIALLY when the public schools feel the pain of not producing. Like the threat of reduced funding, or even a school being closed for extremely poor student achievement. With out consequences, the public schools will not improve.
AND SCHOOL CHOICE EVEN SAVES TAXPAYERS MONEY. The WV Dept. of Education has a budget of $2.5 Billion. The counties contribute approximately $1.5 billion to education through property tax levys and bonds. That is $4 Billion per year to education. That is about $20,000 per student per year. A private school education in Harrison County is less than $7000 per student and after private donations, tuition is less than $5000 per year.
Voucher programs work well, and save a lot of money, but private Charter Schools are proving to improve student achievement even more. They don't reduce costs as much but still do. It is a win win situation for the taxpayers and the students... but not for those that benefit from the monopoly that is the public school system.
By Stephen McElroy