The Key to Improving Education Policy
When it comes to our educational system, everyone can agree that there is always something that can be better. We all want our students to succeed and to be the best they can be. When our students achieve, society benefits.
The question then becomes, what are the best policies for success, and who is qualified to make them?
How policy is often developed?
The policy is frequently made behind closed doors. Educators and specialists are in charge of this. While educators should have an understanding of and involvement in legislation, it is the “experts” who are problematic. The qualifications of the specialists are not an issue. They are frequently extremely knowledgeable in a specific subject or topic area. The mismatch occurs because the expert may lack real-world experience in their field of expertise.
In today’s interconnected and global society, it may be time to reconsider how policy is produced and challenges are addressed. Some people believe that legislation should not be established to help prevent students from dropping out of school persons who have never dropped out themselves. The same can be said for schools that serve mostly people of color—a white individual may not be the best expert at developing policy for them.
What is a better strategy?
Perhaps a better way to policy development would be to incorporate the people and learners it is intended to serve. If schools want to keep their students, politicians should talk to individuals who have dropped out. Inquiring about their experiences and discussing what might have been beneficial can go a long way toward developing a new, more effective policy.
Similarly, when developing policy in specific areas, such as rural farms or locations that primarily serve people of color, specialists should consult with that specific community. Speaking with people and students who reside in these places can only be beneficial. After all, these people are more familiar with the concerns and challenges they encounter on a daily basis than policymakers.
Perhaps each school, or at the very least each school district, should explore incorporating a panel of local experts. These local specialists would be drawn among the school’s most representative students. It should include current students, old students, and members of the community.
Bring everything together
There are federal criteria that must be met in all schools. This is a firm policy that cannot be altered. Local districts, on the other hand, have the option of tailoring these standards to their specific populations.
School districts would benefit from forming a community group that collaborates with specialists. Listening to the specific requirements of a school can help politicians grasp the big picture. Then they can collaborate to develop a policy that is tailored to the social and cultural needs of their students. Learners will have a better chance of academic achievement with this trustworthy community support.