Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Why I Give School Reformers No Rest

The people who are reshaping public education in the US have limitless money, vast political influence and the virtually unanimous support of mainstream media, and they are creating a creating a catastrophic environment in our public schools with little opposition because they have the money to buy off or silence most critics. Not me. They have nothing they can offer me. Their arrogance and their systematic marginalization of people who have devoted their lives to teaching and learning has won them my undying contempt. I will fight them to my dying breath. But I will fight them not just with rage, but with love- love of learning, love of teaching, and love of changing young people's lives by believing in their agency and creativity. I will do this whether I am part of a group or the last one standing. I don't give in to bullies. I don't suck up to the rich and powerful.


Callie Lorenzo said...

Unfortunately, most American schools need to rethink their roles in today's world and how they educate children. We need K-12 schools that provide a basic core "deep learning", thinking-creativity based education that includes strong science, social studies, and the arts programs. Every school district should provide students with many electives and "extra-curricular" activities. Vo-tech options should be available to all. Schools must move assessments and accountability from standardized tests to authentic student work and digital portfolios. They need to frequently connect students to the broader community and outside world. Students who need extra help and support should get it. Early childhood education should be universal. And, of course, children who live in poverty should get extra help and support starting at an early age, as well as health care, nutrition, and other supports that create some stability in their lives. This type of education supports both citizenship and college and career readiness. As I had to write my essays into education system I learnt it focuses education around America's strengths, diversity, complexity, variety, and creativity. It's a big, long term job that needs many resources and will not happen in the immediate future, but we should take this on as a multi-year project. The sooner we get on with it as a nation, the sooner we will help ALL our children adapt to a 21st century world.

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