Steven Singer goes through the long list of failed innovations that “Reformers” have foisted on the schools.

Think how many billions have been wasted on standardized tests, interim assessments, data coaches, test-based evaluations, Common Core, etc.

He has an idea for an innovation that he is certain will make a difference: more people. 

Have you walked into a public school lately? Peak your head into the faculty room. It’s like snatching a glance of the flying Dutchman. There are plenty of students, but at the front of the overcrowded classrooms, you’ll find a skeleton crew.

Today’s public schools employ 250,000 fewer people than they did before the recession of 2008–09. Meanwhile enrollment has increased by 800,000 students. So if we want today’s children to have not better but just the same quality of services kids received in this country only a decade ago, we’d need to hire almost 400,000 more teachers!

Instead, our children are packed into classes of 25, 30 even 40 students!

And the solution is really pretty simple – people not apps. Human beings willing and able to get the job done.

If we were fighting a war, we’d find ways to increase the number of soldiers in our military. Well, this is a war on ignorance – so we need real folks to get in the trenches and win the battle.

We need teachers, counselors, aides and administrators promoted from within and not functionaries from some think tank’s management program.

We need more people with masters or even more advanced teaching degrees – not business students with a three-week crash course in education under their belts who are willing to teach for a few years before becoming a self-professed expert and then writing education policy in the halls of government.

We need people from the community taking a leadership role deciding how our schools should be run, not simply appointing corporate lackeys to these positions at charter or voucher schools and narrowing down the only choices parents have to “Take It” or “Leave It.”

We need people. Real live people who can come into our schools and do the actual work with students.

What an idea! Real people to do the work, instead of machines!

Thats innovation!