The purpose of this blog is to know and understand the teacher's perspective concerning current issues on education reform and the teaching profession. Inputs from the ones who probably knows what is best for students academically -- the teachers -- are rarely considered in decision making of policies. Yet, these so-called education experts and lawmakers dictate how we do our jobs and what we should teach. That's not right!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Wish List: Seeking A Palingenesis In Education Reform

It's been a while since I published an entry here. Needing to take a brief hiatus to deal with some personal issues, I still managed somewhat to stay abreast on the current happenings in the education reform debate. I see I didn't miss much. Same old song. The rich and powerful are influencing their brand of reform, while there was little to no outcry from teachers, parents, and students...maybe with the exceptions of New York City and DC. 2010 is quickly coming to a close. One thing for certain is we teachers and public education advocates have definitely lost the public relations battle. Yet, we haven't lost the war.

I am hoping and praying that, in 2011, the momentum will begin to shift in our favor somehow. As long as NCLB remains the law of the land in education, we will have three more years to meet a highly unrealistic mandate for 100% proficiency in reading and math. It appears, especially under the current administration, this mandate will be expanded to include more mandates to undermine public education. Neither of the two major political parties favors sensible reform. In addition, so-called experts Arne Duncan and Bill Gates suggest school districts should consider "doing more with less" in the backdrop of the current economic decline. None of the big players are on our side. And we surely can't afford to wait for something worse to happen.

Before then, I hope and pray several things will happen in 2011:
  • More teachers and public education advocates will speak up and speak out in outlets reaching a larger audience. 
  • More teachers will demand more from their unions by becoming more actively involved and holding their leaders accountable.
  • More public education advocates will use their resources and connections to oppose any type of reform that will close public schools, cripple student learning, and de-professionalize teachers
  • Teacher unions will work more closely together for a common goal, that is to ensure every child receives a quality public education that is not overemphasize on testing.
  • More Americans will open their eyes and see the hype for what it really is: A systematic takeover of public schools by corporate America
Some may consider this list as wishful thinking; but hey, it's not a crime to have hope. These will require some out-of-the-box thinking and strategic planning, but they are doable if they follow a bottom-up approach and everyone is on the same page. I don't expect every one of these "wishes" to happen by the end of next year. What I do hope is we come together as one voice to speak out and demand changes that will benefit the community; enhance the teaching profession; and more importantly, educate our children with a comprehensive, holistic curriculum and quality instruction using effective practices in safe and adequately-funded public schools.

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