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DR. BARBARA SMITH PALMER is an elected member of the United Teachers of Los Angeles House of Representatives and Political Action Committee, the California Teachers Association State Council, and a UTLA delegate to the NEA Representative Assembly.
I'm excited about the prospects for teaching and learning in the 21st Century. But for public education to truly survive in the 21st Century, we will need to make some adjustments in our efforts at reform, in our philosophy, and in our teaching.
* Reform. How schools are structured has complicated our attempts at innovation. The relationship between knowledge and power, within the social and political contexts of our schools, has placed burdensome external controls on teachers and students, controls ranging from excessive regulation to massive testing.
Current policies that focus on national testing and national standards are too narrow. There is no one approach that can work for all kids. Our testing and standards policies must take into …