Saturday, May 22, 2010

Duncan opens the door...

..a crack.
My good friend and colleague Anthony Cody, from California where the teacher fires for education reform are burning brightly, has used social networking to garner a voice for teachers in the restructuring of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
Duncan has agreed to listen to the Teacher Letters to Obama group. If you haven't joined this group and you care about education, you need to do it now.
The teacher voices twelve will conference on Monday evening. Stay tuned.
Read through the responses Anthony posted when he surveyed his TLO teachers to find out what was uppermost on their minds.
Granted, there is a lot of anger in the responses, but much of it is warranted.
Teachers have been beaten mercilessly by the media (see Newsweek's Why we must Fire all the Bad Teachers) while working increasingly long days, for less and less pay, without a voice in reform decisions often being made from afar. In addition, whatever ills are in our social network wash up at the schoolhouse door and only teachers are being asked to be held accountable for these inequities.
I interpret the teacher anger as an outpouring of the feeling that they have wasted eight years of students' lives with inferior practices (and in the life of a child, that's the whole enchilada) while being held hostage (and accountable) to a reform package they did not endorse.
The loud voices come from our unwillingness to squander another eight years in the lives of millions of more children on narrow, unproductive goals.

But beyond complaints, we do have solutions.
We have been waiting to be asked.
Anthony has insisted that we be heard.

Monday, May 24, the teachers will offer a few suggestions.

Thank you Anthony for positioning the megaphone.