Entrepreneurship and Education Reform

Framing a Youth Entrepreneurship Education Agenda presses forward, the first point draws the attention on all sides, state and district-wide, classroom and communities. The second talking point, education reform draws from entrepreneurial thinking and strategic planning. Survey respondents identified key areas in need of reform: rethinking mandates of standardized testing, and the design and implementation of an integrative curriculum.

Three respondents — in their OWN WORDS: Standardized Testing and AYPs

  • Stop having teachers teach to “the test.” My 10 year old daughter does not receive real life, problem solving situations where she forced to use her talents of creativity. At this point in time she is taught to recognize what will be on “the test.”
  • Get rid of the current framework of the ISAT. This test quashes innovative, creative, and therefore, potentially entrepreneurial thinking and achievement.
  • Too many graduation requirements and not enough time for electives; teaching to the PSAE Test
  • At this time, all electives are in a “survival mode.” With many schools not making AYP [adequate yearly progress], districts are focusing only on core academics and are not interested in adding and/or sustaining any course that does not actualize the increase of academic achievement in the cores. Therefore, adding entrepreneurship education is going to be a tough sell. Increased graduation requirements and double dosing are robbing students of elective opportunities.

Speaking of AYP and standardized testing, in Wednesday’s Chicago Tribune (4/25) featured HS District 218 (Oak Lawn, located southwest of Chicago) and its 10 day intensive drill preparing students for state tests and the ACT. Headline reads:

Lesson Plans taking back seat to exams –A high school forgoes curriculum for 10-day intensive drills aimed at preparing students for a battery of state tests, college entrance exam” – Difficult call to make for district and school administrators. Students and teachers are pressured to demonstrate adequate progress. A lot of time is put into teaching kids how to take standardized tests. Policy makers set the standards, educators lose control over the delivery of services. Other viable alternatives? I think so.


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