This is a post that has been brewing in my draft pile for some time now. I am going to break my rule of staying apolitical at school and on my blog….well sort of. I am tired of the the “Right” and the “Left” talking about what needs to happen in education, because, frankly, they have no clue what they are talking about. Neither Arne Duncan nor Jeb Bush are qualified to suggest policy on what should happen in classrooms with your and my children! That’s right. This is personal for me. My children go to the school I work in. If you do not think I want what is best for the kids in my school you are sadly mistaken! In other words, I got skin in this game! I don’t go into restaurants and tell the owners how to run their business using the analogy I like to eat what I think is good, therefore do as I say. I know food. Any fool can look on from the sideline and have an opinion. Politicians need to stay within their expertise, oh, wait a minute….never mind.
Enough about politicians. The real purpose of this post is to call out my fellow educators and their practice of railing against the popular school reform movements in such a way that we end up looking like we are defending the status quo. When all we do is say that we disagree with testing, charter schools, value added evaluation…etc., we are actually validating the argument that professional educators are part of the problem and that the reformers are right. I think there are a lot of things we do in the name of educating students that make little to no sense. We do need to change, and that change needs to be led by educators! It is easy to do what we know and feel comfortable with. Comfortable is not good enough for your children, nor mine. Be bold. Try new things. Make the learning in your classroom an active student exercise. Schools no longer hold an information monopoly (and we haven’t for some time) . Our charge is to build relationships and challenge our students in ways in which they build skills and a desire to keep growing. Be bold my fellow educators, BE BOLD!