Thursday, July 29, 2010

If It Were Only That Simple: Education Reform

From Obama's speech on education reform: "I want teachers to have higher salaries. I want them to have more support. I want them to be trained like the professionals they are -- with rigorous residencies like the ones doctors go through," Obama says."All I'm asking in return -- as a president, and as a parent -- is a ...measure of accountability."

Cindi: I'm all for accountability...but only if the person being held accountable has more control over success variables...size of class, readiness of students, enough room in a nice space. And preparation like doctors? Would we get to keep peopl...e waiting a few hours before appointments? Would we get education malpractice insurance? Would we get office staff and assistants? Medical salaries -- how are those funded, anyway? I appreciate the ends -- we all share those goals, but the means can be quite elusive. Both careers are too stressful.

Tamera: I'm also for accountability, however in my experience it was very ambiguous. The teachers that were known to be poor teachers were left alone. The teachers who parents and other teachers respected and thought to be good teachers were hara...ssed by the administration. I heard time and time again that the administration didn't used students standardized test scores to determine teacher effectiveness, but then the admin would ask to see the students test scores and complain about the effectiveness of the teacher. To many times the system of accountability is highly flawed. Don't even get me going on support...

Ellen: I am so sad for teachers... and for our students. Such a broken system, and those that are effected the most, the two I just mentioned. So many teachers are hindered by the system, and want only the best for our kids.

Cindi: Back to proposed reforms, it is not the "training" that makes a good teacher, people. If that were true, how would you explain the incredible success of many homeschool situations when the parent-educators are not necessarily credentialed? A good teacher is like the "Harry Potter" of the learner's world...there are powers good teachers have that cannot be taught. They have a heart for the whole person, and eye for the individual student's unique set of gifts and learning pathways, and they wear the cloak of invisibility--those intangible ways of equipping and empowering, providing enough emotional safety for someone to take risks -- always foundational to learning and change beyond memorizing facts in a data dump. I guess I should just make this all a blog post.

And so I did.

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