Education professor discusses techniques for improving American schools
Published Mar. 08, 2011
Valerie Storey, associate professor in Lynn University’s Ross College of Education, believes we must invest in the educational system to ensure education reform in America is successful.
“Success depends on well prepared teachers having the necessary facilities, materials and time to ensure all students have an equal opportunity to learn,” Storey said.
“For the past century, education reformers have tried out their ideas offering diagnosis and cures such as new pedagogical techniques, new ways of organizing schools, and now new tests,” said Storey. “But other countries have shown that success requires investing in the education system rather than providing yet another ‘add on’.”
From her involvement in the education systems on both sides of the Atlantic, Storey has been able to experience recent U.S. and U.K. reforms firsthand, both of which have been characterized by efforts to standardize the curriculum; to implement standardized tests in order to hold students, teachers and schools accountable; to increase school choice; and to privatize education provision.
Today’s standards, outlined in No Child Left Behind, require every U.S. state to test students annually in grades three through eight in reading and mathematics. According to Storey, “As we continue to pressure our children with more tests, we are turning them into rote learners rather than the critical thinkers we are seeking to foster and develop.”
Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate
More on Storey:
Storey began her career in education in England, where she led curriculum teams in individual high schools and school districts before coming to America and earning her Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University. She focuses her research on school improvement with a special emphasis on leadership and policy, both domestically and internationally. She has authored, co-authored and published numerous articles that center on leadership for learning and teaching in K-12 schools. She also studies the changing role of school leaders as the organizational context becomes more standardized but, at the same time, more complex and varied.