There is a great opinion piece by Peter Berger in the April 8th Education Week (subscription may be required). He points out a number of problems with education reform, including that reformers keep on reinventing the same old stuff.
Berger’s piece is populated by gems like,
…education reformers exploit the refrain “21st century,” as in “21st-century skills,” “21st-century global competition,” or “21st-century bridge to sell you.” Not that there’s anything wrong with preparing kids for the 21st century. I stopped using parchment and quill pens in my classroom months ago. But garbing recycled bad ideas in the new century can’t help us, especially when our real problem is that most students haven’t mastered the skills that mattered in the last century, and that will continue to matter, like reading and writing.
Berger closes on this note:
One typically ardent reformer urges that we “give our students the education they need for their future, not the education we had in the past.” If most students today were mastering a rigorous 20th-century education, the 21st century wouldn’t look as bleak as it does.
This one is definitely worth a read.