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