Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Path Not Taken in Trying to Improve Schools- Soliciting the Input of our Best Teachers

If I were going to try to improve schools in low income communities, and indeed all communities, the first thing I would do would be to identify the best teachers who live and work in those communities- and everybody knows who they are- and ask them what policies they think would produce the best results !!! This is the one thing, to my knowledge, that no "School Reform Commission" in any state or any city has done.Instead, they bring in business leaders, consultants, academic "experts"-everyone but the people on the ground working with students and families every day.

And what is frightening is that, if by some miracle, education policy bodies would start doing this now, it might just be too late, because so many of these great teachers have been driven out of their jobs by misguided policies and micromanaging administrators. often with the collaboration of teachers union leaders.

When we wonder, ten or twenty years from now, why our public education system is still stagnant and gaps in performance by race and class are still huge, we might just consider that in our rush to bring business methods to this portion of the public sector, we squandered our most precious resource- the accumulated wisdom of the nation's most talented veteran teachers