Tom Bloch: I think there has to be some evolution to the curriculum, but I’m fairly old-fashioned and I like to teach basic math skills and I feel that in order to really master skills, you have to practice them, so I may not be the most innovative teacher in America, but I think I keep coming back to the standards that we have. Every teacher has his or her own skills and preferences in terms of how to teach, but I think we have to make sure that we learn the basics.
And one of the things I believe that happens in education is that we tend to latch on to the latest reform idea. I would call it the Reform du jour and I would suggest most of these reform movements that we have we’ve tried before they’re recycled with a new name slapped on them. So I’m not a big fan of new reform ideas and thinking that those reform efforts are silver bullets; I just don’t think this happens. Instead, I believe that it is the teacher who makes the difference. So if it’s a question of a program versus a person, to me it’s the person that is far more important than the program.
Recorded on: October 13, 2008