Thursday, March 27, 2014

Where is The Human Touch?

To me, one of the most powerful experiences in education is when a student comes back to the school they attended to visit with a teacher who had a large impact on them. This happens to me on a regular basis and it is one of the best parts of my job. But current education policies emanating from Washington are making this impossible. Not only are some of the best teachers quitting in protest against the Scripting and Micromanagement they face on a daily basis, but a good many schools are actually disappearing, shut down when they fail to achieve the desired results on test scores. Think of what this means in a city like Chicago, or Newark. A student influenced by a great teacher in a middle school or high school is not only unlikely to find that teacher still working, but they are also likely to find the school they attended gone. What kind of message does it send to students? How does this help build strong communities? And what kind of society do we live in when students, teachers and schools are viewed as disposable parts to be moved around or disposed of at will by policy makers on the basis of "Data" they gather. Where is the human touch?