Saturday, January 7, 2017

The More Things Stay the Same

I've been gone for almost 3 years- That seems like a long time. But it's not. Not when it comes to the business of educating kids in the United States. Things I'm shocked to still see:


  • Debates about how to address the diversity in our classrooms.
  • Endless articles on what works best in educating "urban" students. Newsflash- this has been researched extensively from Dewey(1933) until now. We already know what works. I believe we choose not to do it for population of students that are deemed not worthy.
  • Sit- and- take professional development is still a thing. Seriously? I researched this as part of my dissertation. It does not work. Teachers are learners and experts. Why are we still spending millions of dollars bringing people from outside our profession into our schools to lecture us about what to do with our own students?
  • Testing is still big business with no end in site. Read Diane Ravitch's many publications about this. I am really afraid for our children at this point. Testing is not the only valid measure of student progress and learning, yet we still have large corporations making billions of dollars selling these materials to school districts across the country with promises of guaranteed success.
  • Public v charter school debates, as if there is one answer to our complex educational issues in this country. Listen, I've worked in both settings. Amazing public schools exist. Amazing charter schools exist. The problems arises when corporations and organizations with no real interest or background in education are allowed to treat our students like chattel for the sake of a profit. A toxic school is a toxic school and this is usually a direct result of leadership, funding and curriculum decisions that do not center children. Period. 
Rant over.

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