Friday, January 30, 2015

If building codes were built by the same people who make educational policy...

I find it unremarkable and simply a given that when establishing policy in virtually every professional field: medicine, engineering, construction, etc., policy makers and regulators turn to experts who understand the field. This helps ensure that the technical components are properly addressed and in turn helps ensure that the policies will have the desired effects.

I wish policy makers would offer the same courtesy to the field of education.

The lone qualification for someone to make education policy in this country is the completion of a high school education, as if having been in a school imparts expertise. I walk through buildings every day and yet that in no way qualifies me to build them. I go to my doctor when I'm sick but that doesn't qualify me to practice medicine. I use a computer but that doesn't qualify me to write code.

But education seems to be different, treated as something any idiot can understand, and so no expertise is required to write the laws that will govern one of the most critical components of our society.

The analogy I want to make is this: if our building codes were given the same professional courtesy as our education policy we'd be lucky when a building doesn't fall down. That is worth thinking about.

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