A manifesto of sorts from various superintendents around the country (nope, not Dr. G-J) about the state of public education in our country. This in the Washington Post.
Here's their opening line, a hopeful start:
As educators, superintendents, chief executives and chancellors responsible for educating nearly 2 1/2 million students in America, we know that the task of reforming the country's public schools begins with us. It is our obligation to enhance the personal growth and academic achievement of our students, and we must be accountable for how our schools perform.
Maybe, there's more to ed reform than I've been thinking. Maybe these leaders will step up and show us what real accountability looks like.
But it's all downhill from there. And you know why? Because the rest of it is all about teachers.
There is another hopeful line...
A single elementary- or middle-school classroom can contain, for instance, students who read on two or three different grade levels, and that range grows even wider as students move into high school. Is it reasonable to expect a teacher to address all the needs of 25 or 30 students when some are reading on a fourth-grade level and others are ready for Tolstoy?
...but nope, shot down again.
We must equip educators with the best technology available to make instruction more effective and efficient. By better using technology to collect data on student learning and shape individualized instruction, we can help transform our classrooms and lessen the burden on teachers' time.
Oh, it's technology that will make them more effective and efficient, not fewer kids in a class. Not teaching them how to differentiate curriculum and their own teaching. "by using better technology to collect data on student learning..." that's the ticket. Better technology is NOT going to somehow make a class' reading level go up. How does that lessen the burden on teachers?
(Wait, one paragraph about...charters. You know, how we need them and need them now. Interesting, though, because 40 states have them so why aren't these people happy?)
There has GOT to be more to ed reform than teacher evaluation and charter schools. But I'm not seeing it or hearing it.
I'm in that Scarlett O'Hara mood - Oh, what I would say if only I weren't a lady.