Monday, October 05, 2009

Fayetteville $113 Million Education Plan Based On Failed Reforms

A Northeast School District Has Already Experimented (in The Early 90's) With The 21st Century Reforms That Fayetteville is Planning - With Drastic Results.

Fayetteville is in the process of implementing an educational system that is just a new round of the ever evolving controversial Outcome Based Education (OBE) trend a few years ago. OBE proponents advocate:

No competition
No grade levels
No grades
No time limits
New types of tests (Portfolios)
No textbooks
No memorization or drills
No Carnegie Units
Hands-On Fun Projects

The school administrators plan to build a $113 Million building to accommodate their new educational plans. In their words, "In December 2008, the board voted to set a target size for a new high school of 3,000 students in grades 9-12, to be contingent upon the curriculum and architectural design being centered around a 21st century learning model and small learning community concepts."

For these new reforms in Fayetteville administrators' own words, see the bullet points at the end of the article "Building 21st Century Learning System" at this link:

These reforms that Fayetteville plans to implement are the type of reforms that the US stimulus money is funding and encouraging despite the fact that they have failed over and over across the country. In fact, another school district in Northeast Arkansas (Paragould) had a painful failure with 21st century learning in the early 1990's.

This district received all kinds of awards, accolades, grant money, and were frequently featured in newspaper articles for their innovative non-traditional methods as one of a "handful" of such schools in the nation. However, their test scores began to plummet. About three years after the plan was in place, the community became involved, and sponsored town meetings exposing what was going on in the schools.

Students gave presentations at one of the community meetings detailing the problems with the methods used in the schools. (See excerpts from these students' speeches in # 8 of documentation below.) Both the superintendent and principal resigned when the community became aware that their school test scores, once among the highest in the county, dropped to the lowest in the county. The next year, the newly hired superintendent and school board began returning the school to basics.

Details are given below, and the major newspaper stories are given as footnotes in the article below. This story is typical of many other experiments in Arkansas and across the country. Below are the details, an article worth reading for anyone interested in educational reforms and for anyone interested in the way our taxes are being spent and will be spent through the stimulus money.

Topics Included Below:

Paragould, Arkansas School Becomes School of the 21st Century
School Begins To Receive Awards in 1993
Community Meetings As Test Scores Drop & Methods Revealed (Bullet Points)
In 1996 Supt. & Principal Resign As Test Scores Drop to Lowest In The County
In 1997 New Superintendent and School Board Move School Back to Basics
Students Detail Problems With Teaching Techniques

For rest of article see this link: or click on Monday below:


Blogger Debbie Pelley said...

(Article continued)
The rest of the article was too long to be published as a comment so you will have to go to this link to read it.

7:26 PM, October 05, 2009  
Anonymous Pete said...

here is a map of Arkansas School performance

8:45 AM, October 06, 2009  

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