Education Secretary Candidate Calls Flipped Classrooms a “Shocking Misuse of Public Resources.”
Austin, Texas – A recent audit of Texas schools found that as many as seventy percent of flipped classrooms have unused space directly tied to this “new” instructional model. According to the 8,500-page report, the “wasted space” identified is left behind by a growing cadre of teachers who have stopped being the sage on the stage and have moved to being the guide on the side. The space identified is generally located at the front of most classrooms, beginning at the blackboard and extending about three to six feet to the first row of desks. The auditors added up all of this abandoned real estate across scores of flipped classrooms in the state. They estimated that the property value of the wasted space could easily reach $14 million in affluent school districts and about $637 in inner city schools.
The audit was conducted by Flipped Learning Abuse, a Flipped Learning watchdog group with known ties to passive learning advocates in Texas, New Jersey, and Moscow. According to one of the auditors, who spoke with us off the record, the audit was partially funded by a non-partisan, Washington D.C. lobby called Teachers Who Refuse to Leave the Stage.
Candidates for the State Secretary of Education post quickly pounced on the report. One candidate cited the report as evidence of the “shocking misuse of public resources in flipped classrooms.” He vowed, “If elected in November, I will end this frigging flipped classroom stuff in my first 100 days in office.”
Instead of ending flipped classrooms, moderate politicians suggested renting the abandoned stage space to Hollywood studios for use as active school sets during class time. Several of the studios have already reached out with undisclosed offers. “The thought of authentic school sets and free student extras is an offer we just can’t refuse,” said one studio executive who asked to be identified only as “Da Man.”
Students who heard about the flipped classroom controversy on Instagram quickly weighed in, supporting the Hollywood option. “How cool would that be?” said a studious-looking ninth grader, who spoke anonymously while cutting one of his non-flipped classes. “We’re gonna get to own our learning and be extras in a Hollywood movie… red carpets, limos, and paparazzi? Boom!”
We contacted the Flipped Learning Global Initiative for comment on this story. A spokesperson simply called the report “comical.”
Trained Flipped Learning teachers are very familiar with the terms “group space” and the “individual space,” but the notion of “wasted stage space” left many scratching their heads.
Though no one asked the affected teachers what they thought of Hollywood studios leasing the wasted space in their flipped classrooms, some expressed a sense of redemption that their unused stages would be taken over by actors.
A veteran teacher told this reporter that she never thought she would live to see the day when “the people who occupy the space in front of a classroom would finally be treated like celebrities and get the recognition and pay they deserve.”
The report and the final decision on how to respond to this Flipped Learning crisis are now before several local school boards. Because the flipped classroom audit has become a very controversial issue, the public is demanding an immediate resolution. Responding to the sense of urgency, education policymakers have vowed to push for a decision sometime before the beginning of the 22nd century or shortly thereafter, whichever comes first. #FakeNews