Educators across the country are sitting with baited breath
in anticipation of “NBC’s Education Nation” to be held September 26th
-30th. As I visited the homepage for the event, I was struck by the
“Education is key to the success of
our country, and yet we have allowed our students to fall
Hmmm. I’m wondering who “we” is in this context. Americans?
Registered voters? Parents? Departments of Education (federal and/or state)
employees? Superintendents? Principals?
No, no, no. I’m sure “we” stands for teachers.
I would like to be optimistic and believe that an event of
this magnitude, of this caliber, realizes that the “we” couldn’t be teachers.
Teachers aren’t allowed to do anything that they aren’t told to do. Walk into
any public school in the country and you will see “evidence” of federal and
local mandates at every turn. Data rooms, scientifically based research practices and books, assessment, assessment, assessment, clipboards, walkthrough
forms, objectives posted, 40 students in a classroom, half day kindergarten,
English Language Learners segregated from proficient English students.
Education in 2010 reflects what is allowed in education.
Will “we” the teachers be able to voice this reality? I
scanned the homepage for the teacher influence. As I scrolled ¾ of the way down
the page my discerning viewing skills were drawn to a large A+ in red marker,
of course the teacher section. I mean, come on! We wonder why our students are
falling behind and yet society still links a letter grade in red ink as the
symbol of our profession. This made me think of the antiquated comment that was just made during a debate for
Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. One candidate concluded that whole language
was the nuclear bomb of education, really whole language? Once again, who’s
allowed our students to fall behind?
Looking beyond out of touch logic and symbols, I find that
there will be an event for teachers. The event will be a Teacher Town Hall
meeting. Renee Moore’s latest blog parallels the Teacher Town Hall meeting to
the kiddie table at Thanksgiving dinner. Well, I will wait with baited breath
to see what transpires at the kiddie table. I know for a certainty that the
ideas and conversations at the kiddie table will far outweigh the conversations
at the adult table. Tune in.