Alexander Privalov: the School is dead – no one noticed

The end of the school year for a short time raised to the first pages school theme. We used this to talk about the fate of Russian education with the scientific editor of magazine "Expert" Alexander Nikolaevich Privalov. The conversation was about a genuine reform of education, what knowledge and skills have in reality graduates of recent years, disenfranchised teachers, interested and disinterested parents. And also about the need to revive the Russian high school.

About school, we remember only events: the end of the school year, a failed exam, a single textbook, changes in the Law on education, which we so praised, and now it turns out that it is urgently necessary to improve it and so on. But the condition of the national school did not become the subject of constant public interest. That's too bad. Our education and, above all, a reform school for fifteen years – that's incredible a long time, but no results. That is, no positive results; there is a noticeable degradation, and it is necessary at least to speak out loud. It should be understood by society.

The essence of education reform

The most accurate for this reason it was said to the previous Minister of education, Mr Fursenko. He put it like this: the Soviet system of education was trying to prepare artists; we also need to prepare literate consumers.

The whole point of education reform is that, according to its creators, the education we have been too luxurious, not to our snout porch.

Education we need to be more modest. Very compact higher: a few good universities that will even be included in some international rankings. Well, high hundreds of universities that will do that without which absolutely does not.

Quasicycles for clasiscal will sculpt in pedagogical colleges, which are called bachelor degrees. Quasigeneral to remove dust imported equipment are going to teach in engineering colleges, which also will be called bachelor degrees. Need serious experts, really serious, – or write from abroad, or overseas train. But if such reformers see our higher education, and secondary education, it should be much easier.

This position was, in my opinion, totally wrong before. But then, at least you could bring in favor of some serious arguments. In the era polycrystal serious arguments in favor of left.

Clearly, any modern technology and science to let us will be very reluctantly, if at all. The presence of as even minor, but the full element of the world system buying oil money missing specialists, we do not Shine.

So, we must build a self-sufficient system of education, and it is fundamentally not what was done all these years. Suffice it to say that for all the years of reform the conversation about the content of our education has never been raised.

A graduate of the modern school: the documents – the six-winged Seraphim... There is a wonderful paper, "Strategy 2020", developed and adopted several years ago with a fair amount of noise. In the education section of this strategy, in black and white was billed as the main danger that threatens our education, is that some nerd will make us return to discussion about the content of education. Here we can't survive. So we are all good and will be even better. But if we talk about the content of education – everything, kranty. And this great danger, the reformers managed to avoid talking about the content of education as anyone and not given.

Read famous FSES (Federal state education standard), where it is written, what should be the graduate of our domestic schools. Salutary reading. You learn that a graduate of this six-winged like the Seraphim, smart as three of Aristotle. It has mathematical thinking, geographical thinking, physical thinking and thinking of chemical. It's all written in the standard. It does not say only if he knows the Pythagorean theorem. If he knows Ohm's law, you know, which side of Russia lies the Northern sea route. It is not known. But the geographical and physical mindset he possesses.

So if you ask how I see the reformers of graduate school, I will tell you honestly: I don't know. I do not believe that they see it as written in most of these standards – they are not crazy, in fact.

I absolutely mean this, I have more than twenty years in the media: if in Moscow there were at least fifteen of these people, what draws graduate school section of the state standards in language arts, they would be snapped up in the main editor of the Moscow editions in six seconds. No such people, in nature, not that of school leavers. fact – degrading Trinity What are our graduates, in fact, showed last year. It was the famous so-called "fair use". Funny: until last year, we did not say that the exam is not honest. On the contrary, strongly convinced us that he was terribly objective. And last year did "fair", spending his four times more money than usual. Honesty – she's not a cheap thing.

Everything turned out quite strange, because I had hindsight to underestimate the pre-established borders satisfactory grades in compulsory subjects – Russian and math. Otherwise, as they say, a quarter of the graduates of the school would not have received certificates. It would, of course, politically unacceptable scandal. On it went, lowered the bar.

What happened in the end, it is easier to explain mathematics, but in the Russian language was the same. In order to get what became known as the three man had four hours to solve three examples (better, of course, more, but three is enough) of this level: "How many bars to 16 rubles to buy on 100 rubles?" People who correctly answered three questions of this quality, has received the certificate of successful completion of secondary school.

The trouble is that it turned out men who even through that barrier, not over it, was a quarter. It's okay – sad, but apparently inevitable. You will tell: the genetic material deteriorates, deteriorating social structure. Will tell you a lot, and much of this is true. Indeed, a certain number of guys can't master that, supposed to learn in high school. But the trouble is that significantly more than that shame, know only 20%. Significantly better results than this here three, showed only 20% of graduates. This, of course, a disaster.

Cheap education, disenfranchised teachers

The true meaning of this reform – saving; saving money, and efforts of the authorities. What we give for education reform, it actually is not and can not be: we have seen, it does not concern content. There is a reform of education management, and it has indeed changed beyond recognition.

I am the teacher's son, I well remember my mother's woes and joys, and I can confidently say, the bureaucratic pressure, high pressure on teachers in the Soviet times – a pathetic half a percent from what is arranged now.

Of course, the school Director, and in Soviet times was not godfather to the king, he was quite a boss, and RONO, and the education Department, and the party chiefs had, – but such wild lawlessness as it is now, the Director of the school.

If the Director then someone didn't like it too could be kicked. But it wasn't easy – and it was a scandal. To kick him at any second without explanation, as is done now, was unthinkable.

As our distinguished reformers, was given carte Blanche for his exploits? I think it's pretty simple. Of course I was not present, but I think they said the country's leaders about the following: "the education System we have is too cumbersome and too expensive, we undertake in the limited time to do it significantly cheaper, but so that it will look decent."

At the same time to talk about the content of education both sides of this imaginary conversation of us could not. The country's leadership to talk about it can't, because nothing about him know. The funny thing is that management education about him can not speak, exactly for the same reason.

The content of education – the question is very specific, we decide not on political but on a professional level. And the solutions need not managers, and it professionals.

Then came a new opening. What is happening with education now is largely coming from the presidential decrees 2012, where he was given a fierce task of providing employees with a common and high schools of a reasonable wage. Our distinguished reformers approached the matter simply: "How to make the salary was more? It is necessary that people have been less." That happens.

Most recently, Mr. Livanov or one of his deputies openly said that the rate of the teacher shall be thirty six hours before they were eighteen. This rate is an open rejection of any quality work.

Even if we forget about the fact that the reform of the management now about every hour in the class the teacher should write a lot of papers, still thirty-six hours a week is a complete rejection of the professional growth, maintain professional form. This work wear. People izmeryaetsya, worn out and either leaves the school or becomes a clockwork gramophone. What is the benefit of a cornered educator, judge for yourself.

The quality or effectiveness of Please note: never in all the years of reforms no one of the rulers of education talked about its quality. The quality of education is not the temperature, not length, so directly is not dead. Still, it is something you can feel. Just by talking to alumni or other educational institution, any experienced person will tell you, the quality of education they received, and how the quality. About, not with three decimal places, but I have to say – and usually can't go wrong. That is why in the mouths of managers talk about the quality of education was never and never will be.

We are talking about the effectiveness of education. What is the efficiency? Efficiency is the ratio of costs and results. Cost is, of course, money. And about the result every time they come up with another paper, which sets out performance criteria, not related to the quality of education, generally speaking, irrelevant.

"How many square meters of laboratories per student?" "What is the percentage of foreign students?" What should be the share of foreign students in the provincial pedagogical University? Yeah, no. They're a hundred years nobody wants them and this University is not needed. And the University is needed. It may be of high quality and to prepare good teachers, but it is nobody cares. With schools mechanics are even simpler: there's the main idol in the temple – the scores on the exam.

Here such simple tricks – the invention of paper and snapping the complexity of educational life under compliance to these papers, they drove all pedagogical staff of Russia in a constant state of awe. What could be the benefit from the frightened teacher, judge for yourself.

School is dead – no one noticed that this is really weird. School – the important thing is unthinkable, the same naziera a thing as protected borders, army and currency. Without them no nation and without a school there is no nation. School, in my opinion, obviously ruined. Why is there no cries, why are the streets not running scared of the crowd? For two very simple reasons.

The first is that it is, unfortunately, the topic of time-limited interest. Usually people interested in the school just the past three years learning his baby. What is the child's school prior to that, the average parent almost didn't matter what it is, this is. And in the last three years every becomes very interesting: how well do they teach, do.

Here the last three years parent inclined to talk about it, the rest of the time a normal person at school to care: he does not understand the extent to which this is important. He is not obliged to understand it. Even an ordinary person is not obliged to understand, for example, to what extent is important the treatment, but the treatment should be. He is not obliged to understand how to be natiionwide Institute – school, and whether there is today such an institution.

Second, why is no one running in a panic. Because anyone who wants to learn, learn still can; well, in the big cities.

In smaller towns, too, especially in the villages – that's a separate conversation. And in the big cities, especially in very large cities, of course, Yes. If the babe and his parents want the kid studied, the kid will learn. Today it is possible because inertia exists. School is a giant institution, a lot of people. And none of the vices of organization, even had time to completely manifest itself, will not bring down this business immediately.

There are still quite a lot of schools that look good; some are even good, but mostly, look due to the preserved high-level group of teachers, and through tutoring. Because when people – not experts or officials, also from the evaluation of the school, they evaluate it on digital results – exam scores and some other stuff. These digital results are inseparable that brought the school and that brought in Tutors who were invited by the parents of students. It is, in principle, impossible to separate.

If the school has a more or less intelligent group of teachers and more or less wealthy parents, they totally give a result that allows the school to look good. But it's imaginary. If tomorrow the school will padlock, the results of the children who went there, may be even better. Because they will not waste the time of teachers is not as high quality as leading. And leading educators will no longer waste time on writing papers for the Ministry of education and will deal with children all day, as do good teachers.

So people don't see how sour works. I'm afraid that when they see is not very clear what to do. Yes, and now is not very clear. Here and discuss sometimes with excessive zeal does not the most important aspects of the problem.

A single textbook or "gold standard"? I am absolutely not inclined to share this horror of the concept of the "single textbook", anything terrible in it I do not see, because really the books today are the same. From the fact that they are in a registry a few hundred, in this particular class, nothing changes.

The school bought a textbook, it does. And because lying next fifteen, you neither heat nor cold. No today there is no variability – except in the slogans of the Ministry of education and science, is not very often repeated. Real variability at the school have neither the time nor the facilities nor the personnel, nor the energy, nor the money.

The danger of a single textbook really big, but only in the sense that nowhere, unfortunately, does not say that this tutorial will be good. More than that, if things go in accordance with the bill Spring and Nikonov, who now began to consider the State Duma, it is likely that the good books will not.

We will not go into details, but it says that the tutorial after going through numerous wheels consideration and thus becoming "one", is preserved. But in history there were no cases below is good stable textbook was written immediately. All the great books included in the history, become the twentieth and thirtieth reprinting.

I myself am a mathematician by education, and in the case of mathematics is strictly stable in a basic textbook. Moreover, in other matters, I would be in favor, if someone had told me that he will be good. If I told how it will be done, what will be the procedure of selection, procedure of its further improvement, and all this would be believable. If I finally saw that this did not bureaucrats, and professional people.

But in fact single educational space is not necessarily uniform books. But it is definitely the single the content of education. Should be what was once called the "Golden Canon". So we can count on the fact that the entire mass of children from Smolensk to Kamchatka goes to school and all, not necessarily on a single textbook meets approximately with a single array of content. When people graduated from the different schools meet together in work, in the tram, on vacation, they speak a common language. They all read the fable, they all know Ohm's law, they have a certain common core.

This is common core really should be. In this sense, the bill makes a great step forward, because it is written there (yet also very messy) that the standards of education needs to set its content. Which is quite reasonable. The standard should specify the content and not to be the wishes about geographical thinking. If this law is passed, I hope serious people who are in Russia, make such a standard.

This is not a problem. To assemble people, and they write excellent paper just a week or two. Well, in a month – do not need to lose another fifteen years. But will it be done, I don't know.

How much is the gifted? Ending the school year passed under the sign of unification with neighbours – ie, the defeat of our best schools, working with gifted children. It's too bad.

Whether it was the Soviet school the best in the world – at least debatable. But now that the Soviet Union was undoubtedly the best in the world is the system of work with gifted children, which came from Kolmogorov, and Kikoin. It was a boarding – Kolmogorov in Moscow and in several cities; it was special in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk. It was absolute brilliance. How this was done, became a role model for all of the globe except us.

The recently happened controversy: how to work with gifted children. People coming out of the Kolmogorov system that wrote the project, which was called "Kolmogorov project."

The essence of it is this: the state gives a certain – in fact, very small – amount of money. In three years create a baseline of high schools in all the provincial centres. These schools, first, concentrate yourself talented young people, talented teachers, secondly, to develop a methodology that can be replicated in ordinary schools. That is, for three years of operation, a very small amount brings specific fruits.

Moreover, gifted children rotate among their own kind, and so are gifted and progressing. Still and begins to work the machine, which generates and will continue to develop the methodology of teaching the most important school subjects. After three years, all works, all is well.

The alternative was the project of the Ministry of education: 999 billion million to develop a computer system that will include all gifted children; 999 billion million each year for grants to these children and teachers who train them; and so every year.

In the end, there's a computer system, where, like, considered gifted children. But if tomorrow you stop giving these billions millions, it is nothing. In addition, there are not considered rather basic things.

Wee remains a gifted and motivated, only while talking with talented and motivated peers. When it is in school, which is dominated by less gifted and motivated kids, it gets two times in the neck because "nerd", and ceases to be gifted and motivated.

Further. Race parents, teachers for these grants, which are attributed to the child for his alleged talent is a wild psychological trauma. All psychologists howled immediately: you cannot do it!

Well, what? Staged debate. The results we have published in our "Expert". In the open discussion of our side is completely defeated, not to say the absence of the rival representatives of the opponent was, but won, in fact, no discussion. "Yes, you are right, we will consider all your suggestions. Come, come..."

But in practice, of course, all became in their language. No system of schools for gifted children and teachers, which could produce intelligent wave all over the country, no. And there are worse. Okay, this crap with grants, it's just a shame; but there are worse things. There is a direct persecution of the schools, which outperform other level.

We adopted the law "On education", and there in black and white that all schools are the same. But in order that the school was on a higher level, so she was able to work with gifted children, not adjusting them for the total plinth, and allowing them to grow and develop, it needs to be arranged differently.

One of these schools I had the good fortune to finish himself, and I remember how she looked. There is, for example, must be people who work with small groups. The class comes to the lesson of chemistry or physics, and then there are hours of mathematics, and the class is divided into small groups, we work with undergraduate and graduate students.

This is a different organization. There are many part-time workers, there is more audience, there all a little different. It is not necessarily much more expensive, but it is much different. And here there will be none. Will strict per capita funding will be the same strict standards of all. And because schools are trying to break out slightly above the General level will be systematically destroyed.

No one will shoot at them with howitzers. Even merge with ordinary schools (which, again, also means the end for an outstanding school) not all of them. Just the device itself supply the schools with money and other resources are already arranged so that the schools will trim down.

If today, for example, in Moscow the best schools get some extra money – grants of the government of Moscow, for example, what will happen tomorrow, nobody knows. So you can work?

Not to mention the fact that the best schools are very talented people who created them and support. Not all people like the atmosphere that is created Minobrom. So for the future of such schools in the system of governance established by our reformers, I look very bleak. In the created conditions they have no future.

A necessary condition for healing To me it is obvious that no serious changes for the better is possible until you will be told the truth about the state of Affairs. Yet this truth is not told officially, with some fairly high rostrum. This implies that change is impossible, until dismissed, even with honor, in a Laurel wreath from head to toe! all these reformers: Fursenko, Kuzminov, Lebanon with all their proteges.

It is not enough that the lost fifteen years, lots of money, a lot of effort, tens of millions of people ruined buckets of blood. How many teachers went out of the eye. How to take and write off? In order to cancel, I must say that was a disaster.

I don't know when it will happen. Don't even know if it happens at all. But do know that without this school to revive will not start.

The main problem of the school that cannot even begin to heal until the reformers in the field, is that there is no school. The school ceased to be self-sufficient organization was strapped to the bottom of appendage to the institution: she's just "preparing to College" and no other values has not officially.

A manifestation of lack of independence of the school was the exam. Today's exam, since graduation, and the entry must summarize the results of schooling and to recognise readiness for learning of the University. These are two fundamentally different tasks.

The results of the exam, the student should be able to enter the mekhmat. That is, he should be able to solve mathematical problems of this level, which can solve not every student not even any teacher. Thus, as part of the exam in mathematics should be tasks mahmadbekova level, or the second half doesn't work.

But the school now and has always produced quite a lot of Trinitarian people. And these students must be differentiated, both from losers and of b. This exam, which needs to recognize the details mahmadbekova level, need to recognize the details troeckie. It is unreal.

For mathematics this year the exam is twisted at base and profile levels, but I do not want to discuss. I strongly hope that this shameful innovation, legalizing the issuance of a certificate to a student who out of the whole of mathematics knows only addition within the first hundred will be quickly cancelled. But in all the other disciplines exam continues to try to grasp the immensity.

There is a job at the kindergarten level, and there are indeed quite complex. But people minimize effort. Every teacher knows how many points is given for each of these tasks. And it is easier to coach at three.

And all the other subjects for which there is no mandatory exam, people just stopped studying. Exactly. Why? With me at the end of the year will not be asked, at the end of the school asks. With teachers at the end of the school is not asking how he taught me. No one is going to ask. So what he is going to teach and will I learn? Both of us easier to make. And we pretend.

The school became a day of overexposure for children. Those who want to learn, while, repeat until there is to learn can. And the rest sit out. So it is impossible. If we want to survive as a country, school should be the school.

This means, I must say that the exam was worse than a crime – it was a mistake. The exam in its current form should be abolished. We must return to school autonomy and, in particular, mandatory final exams in core subjects. It can't be done, not dismissing all the organizers, because the implementation of the exam they justify their existence, all fifteen years.

Sufficient condition of healing But, of course, by itself, the change of managers of education will not change the situation. Those who it's clear what the decline of the domestic education teachers, parents, all citizens – should understand one more thing. Very important. They never "will do nicely". That the educational system meet the demands of society, society needs these requirements were clearly presented and hard to defend. Yet, to be honest, until this very far.

Not to mention the whole society, even among teachers there is no solidarity. I do about school teachers not talking. But when they began to RAID the high school when there was the famous scandal of performance monitoring, which who not only got into ineffective...

It would seem, here, gentlemen, the teachers of the higher school, came to cut you specifically you had to cut. The first time showed what you will have: wouldn't feel pity for anyone. Well, stand by the wall, say something! No.

"We have these together to protest can't, and we here with these together to protest – we are with them the fact that I do not agree". Guys, you all will agree! You kill everyone, you all are driving under the plinth, say something. The Union of rectors, for example.

I do not know the parents are different, are quite stupid. Quite stupid of rectors do not exist. But sitting quietly if when the mind is timid and shy, softly, gently, gently...

Yes there is! Two years ago when without a Declaration of war the Academy of Sciences was hacked, if the same Presidium of the Academy upon hearing this news, I just got up whole and walked away – that would have got up and went outside, then be trustworthy, the defeat of the Academy would be stopped. So in fact there is swallowed.

As long as the school does not attend society – parents, teachers, and children to protect their right to not scraps, and education, school and will degrade under the sure guidance of the reformers. Published

Interviewed By Daria Periodic

Photo: Anna Halperin

P. S. And remember, just changing your mind — together we change the world! ©



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