Sunday, October 17, 2010

What to Do?

OK. So there is a national conversation around the idea that public education in this country is "failing" our students, our future. Tom Whitby at My Island View has put out a call as to how to "reform" education, so, as though of you who know me will not be surprise, I will throw in my two cents (I am guessing that my opinion is worth less than that at I just calculated my twalue at just over $6).

The first thing that I would do is to stop having so much conversation about it. I am not convinced that there is truly a crisis in American public education. The various media entities in this country need something to report on and, in this current climate, teachers, their unions, and their schools, are easy targets. What has happened, therefore, is that everybody who went to school has become an expert on what it means to learn, to teach, and to educate, because the media has made this such a huge issue.

Please understand, I am not suggesting that the American education system is perfect and that the only people who should be able to offer an opinion on how to "reform" education are the ones directly involved in the process. But, the people on the front lines should be included in the discussion. What we are bombarded with on a seemingly daily basis is this businessman's opinion about what is wrong with education, or this politician's blueprint to "fix" the problem. What do teachers think would "reform" the system? How about students? Many of them have opinions about what would work best for them, yet no one seems to care at all about what they think. Again, I would not have teachers and students be the only voices, but their voices should be heard.

Sir Ken Robinson
, to whom I was "introduced" in a summer class that I took in 2009, has made any number of comments about the state of education, and the graphic YouTube video below demonstrates some of this thoughts on the matter. Until everyone who plays a role in the education of our students, our future, has a voice that the influential in the media choose to listen to, the "crisis" of "reform" will continue to exist.

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