August 8, 2016

Grossman: ‘Disruption’ in education—without research—can be a recipe for disaster

Dean Pam Grossman
In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Penn GSE Dean Pam Grossman argues children are losing out in the rush to improve schools with radical, and often unproven, “disruption.” 

“In education, disruption that ignores research about what works can disrupt children’s lives and opportunities,” Grossman writes.

“As we have seen in the cities where these experiments are being tried on the biggest scale — Detroit, New Orleans, Philadelphia — when disruption fails, the consequences for children are devastating.”

Grossman was not arguing for the status quo.

“There are certainly elements of American education that would benefit from disruption. Halting the flight of educators from the profession or reversing the declining number of teachers of color in our schools would be well worth the disruption. Re-investing in public education so that schools serving our most vulnerable children aren’t forced to compete over scarce resources would also be a welcome disruption. We should certainly disrupt the trend of providing less and less preparation for teachers entering the most challenging schools and districts.”

You can read the full piece, including ideas for major overhauls in the recruitment, development, and retention of teachers, here.