Things to Come in K-12 Education: Predictions for 2018


Things to Come (or that are already here):  Predictions (guesses/observations) for 2018

The education system has changed so much so rapidly in the last fifteen to twenty years that it is anyone’s guess as to what will happen in the future.  Here are a few of my guesses for 2018.  These are not listed in any order of priority, importance, or non-importance.  They are numbered for reference purposes.

  1. Common Core will continue to be promoted and held up as the Holy Grail for education ails even in the face of mounting evidence showing it as a Wholly Fail. Evidence will continue to show Common Core is not closing the achievement gap, not raising achievement, not preparing students for success in college or career.  Decision makers will continue pushing Common Core while using unfounded sound bites as justification while ignoring evidence.  Many of the sound bites will be the same tried and untrue ones used for years now.
  2. States looking to write or adopt new standards or revise current ones will do as those before them have done—rebrand the Common Core with or without slight insignificant changes.
  3. The push for education for a workforce will continue to dominate over providing students with a well-rounded knowledge-based academic liberal education.
  4. There will be an increase in the number of data breaches compromising student, parent, and teacher privacy.  Breaches may occur at all levels—local school, district, state, federal, and third party vendors.  When breaches occur, promises will be made to institute tighter security measures.  These promises will be made more to appease the public than to effectively prevent future breaches.
  5. Schools will continue to invest heavily in technology.  Devices will be relied on more and more to supposedly provide instruction.  There will continue to be an increase in schools issuing or providing devices like ipads and chromebooks to all students.  Equity will be a term commonly used as justification for issuing devices as well as other decisions.
  6. The plethora of grade changes and manipulations to create the appearance of improved graduation rates will increase and become more evident.
  7. Systemic bullying of parents will continue to take place in the effort to prevent opting out.  States and districts will use ESSA as the justifying license for such action.  Students who are opted out of assessments will be officially mislabeled as non-proficient and the system will thwart any recourse attempts.
  8. Many areas of the country will have a growing concern related to lack of candidates for vacant teaching positions.  It is doubtful any real viable solutions will be applied to address the situation.  The same concern and lack of solutions applies for the existing insufficient pool of substitute teachers.  There may be an increase in hiring foreign nationals with H1B visas and TFA candidates (Teach for Awhile) but these are not really viable solutions.  These may be solutions to something else but they are not solutions to a teacher shortage problem.
  9. The convergence of science and technology will usher in the use of brain-enhancing drugs and brain implants to give greater competitive edge for serious Tour d’Educatione contenders as well as those abused by the system.
  10. The connected and elected will continue to increase the promotion, acceptance, and funding for SEL because it feels good.
  11. There will be an increase in the use of augmented reality in education and a move towards virtual reality as technology develops and costs decrease.
  12. As district and state education funds are cut, district and state spending for technology will increase leaving schools and teachers to grope and grovel for basic supplies, possibly including toilet paper.
  13. Continued erosion of teacher due process rights, job stability, and morale will pave a downhill slope for the teaching profession.  It is just possible these things may contribute to a lack of candidates for teaching vacancies but don’t expect the connected, elected, and decision makers to admit such a connection even if they see it.
  14. The connected and elected will continue to promote and foist personalized learning on our education system.  They will ignore the backlash and pushback of a growing corps of parents and others who do not wish children to be subjected to such personalized depersonalization.
  15. The use of social impact bonds (SIBs) will increase.  SIBs will change the nature of government, private sector, and foundation grants made for educational purposes.
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