Education is a field packed with passionate professionals dedicated to a goal of... what? Two surveys unveiled last week point to ambivalence, misperceptions, and lack of agreement among educators and policymakers on questions that at first appear straightforward.
Here's a sample.
1) Washington insiders consistently underestimate current spending on K-12 education and overestimate average class size, according to a National Journal education poll conducted in association with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
2) A Fordham Institute survey found mixed responses from professors of education, with 83 percent saying it is "absolutely essential" for public school teachers to teach 21st-century skills but only 36 percent saying the same about teaching math facts.
Are education professionals engaged in soul-searching or navel-gazing? Are there gaps in understanding among educators or policymakers that hamper conversation? Is there a "sweet spot" of common knowledge in the field that facilitates consensus but also allows for honest differences of opinion?