Ten Predictions for 2006

Anyone can round up a list of the year's most important education stories (as I did here and here), but fewer have the, er, bravery needed to come up with predictions for what's going to happen next year. That's in large part because few predictions come true, as noted in a recent New Yorker article (Everybody's an expert) -- even (and especially) those made by "experts."

But, like bad jokes, predictions nonetheless provide great pleasure, little consequence, and -- I would argue -- they expand the mind to think beyond the current and the immediate, whether they come true or not. Enjoy. Debate. Refute. Add your own if you dare.



-- The chatter about adopting a uniform national test instead of the uneven state-based tests we have now will go nowhere. There are too many forces arrayed against it, for reasons high and low, and states and schools are going to be swamped with the annual testing requirements for grades 3-8 that kick in this spring.

-- Fewer than the expected 10 states will sign on for the growth model alternative AYP unveiled by the USDE this winter. With all the other ways of keeping your AYP numbers down, why bother with all the added cost and difficulty?

-- The Hurricane vouchers just approved in Congress will, for ideological, political, and practical reasons, lead to more voucher demonstration bills and votes on the Hill. Democratic Senators to watch on voucher votes: Feinstein, Clinton, Obama. Yes, Obama.


-- A handful of teachers and administrators will help keep education writers employed and not worked too hard by banning more things -- clothes, technology, slang terms, new dance crazes. For maximum impact, the ban will have something to do with adult fears of/fascination with teenage sexuality, and/or technology.

-- TV shows like The West Wing, Wife Swap, and Extreme Home Makeover will continue to highlight political and social issues as well as or better than many "serious" news programs.

-- Most education blogs will continue to rehash news and views from the mainstream media, but a few more will start doing some original reporting and thinking -- and finally bring some positive influence on the mainstream media as blogs have in other fields. Mine will probably not be one of them.


-- Financial equity among Illinois school districts, arguably the biggest school reform issue in the state, will yet again be discussed in Springfield but not enacted under Governor Rod -- unless it somehow becomes a big gubernatorial issue (Calling Democratic challenger Edwin Eisendrath!).

-- Already having enough available buildings and ideas for new schools, and wishing to avoid the usual controversy, the Board will not close any schools this spring for low academic performance. I'm just saying.

-- Board President Michael Scott, who has wanted to quit for a long time now, will finally depart from the board, as will a handful of other senior officials who are burned out and/or frustrated with internal politics and warring with the AIOs. (See, I told you this was fun.)

-- Press-shy Kim Zalent and BPI's Chicago Schools Alliance will emerge as an interesting new way of connecting schools and communities.

-- The Ren-10 small schools initiative will stumble as its third year approachs, largely because of lack of sufficient outside funding (hello New School for Chicago) and the 30-school cap on charters in Chicago, which is keeping out new players and dampening the interest of existing ones.

-- The kids at Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep (aka South Side Prep) will finally get the money for the auditorium that they were promised (and that mysteriously disappeared from the capital budget last year).


Blogger Amerloc said...

"-- TV shows like The West Wing, Wife Swap, and Extreme Home Makeover will continue to highlight political and social issues as well as or better than many "serious" news programs."

The only thing sadder than the prediction is that it's undoubtedly true.

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fight with the AIOs? They're all true instructional leaders with crisp visions of powerful teaching and learning... more like wait for them all to retire and then start making good on real school improvement.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ISAT math scores will finally go up due to the proposed new 8th grade cut offs and the administration will take credit for the improvement.

3:06 PM  

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