Oprah’s Report on Schools

Within the past two weeks, 2774 people have posted a response to Oprah’s message board about her show with Bill Gates concerning “Oprah’s Special Report: American Schools in Crisis”.

That’s a LOT of dialogue. Whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on.

The show featured Bill and Melinda Gates, showcasing their foundation’s efforts to stop the epidemic of high school drop outs. It also showed a “school swap” between an affluent suburban school and a deprived urban school within a half hour of each other. It featured an honor student from a rural school district who finds she is a full year behind at a public college due to the fact that she never learned calculus or how to use a microscope.

The dialogue has to do with people blaming No Child Left Behind – teachers claim they must teach to the tests and nothing else. Others blame the teachers – after the tests, the perception is that there is nothing much going on. Others blame parents, and the desire for instant gratification, the idea that things should be easy.

Most of Oprah’s message boards have under a thousand messages on a single topic. They really hit a nerve with this one.

The show illustrates a huge disconnect in American education on several levels – between professionals and parents, between government and local community, and the inequality of opportunities between Americans in many states, while we must prepare to function in a global economy.

Take a look over there, the fur is really flying. Then come back here and tell me what you think is going on. http://boards.oprah.com/WebX?13@136.q2CwceagIZs.2@.f0fe4bf