I have resisted the idea of starting a blog for a while for myriad reasons: who cares what I have to say? how would I find the time? what would I write anyway?!? And yet here I am.
I’ve reached my saturation point with policymakers and self-proclaimed experts (any come to mind?) who think they are experts in education because they went to school. That’s like me saying that I’m an expert in medicine because I’ve been to many medical appointments in my life. I would no sooner tell physicians how to practice than I would attempt to do surgery. I am, however, comfortable entering into constructive dialogue with the medical people in my life; I don’t shy from giving feedback about how their practice affects me. I look for doctors who are Board Certified, because I believe medical (and other) professionals should aspire to exceed the guidelines established by reputable external licensing agencies and professional organizations. That’s how we ensure quality. Why am I obsessing about doctors? Well, because a lot of people have no trouble at all applying a medical model of diagnosis and treatment to education. Unfortunately, it’s not a great fit. Plus, educators aren’t exactly in the same tax bracket as doctors…
I’m also fed up with business leaders who believe that, because they’ve been successful running a business, we should apply that same model which made them lots of money to education. Education is NOT solely about preparing automatons who will do jobs without question. Well, it shouldn’t be about that. I wonder sometimes about ulterior motives. If we don’t educate people to be critical thinkers, perhaps they’ll be more likely to buy whatever the business community is selling… I’m not a cynical person by nature, but have been less and less able to ignore the vitriolic, patronizing, and disrespectful tone of the conversation about public education. Whose interests are promoted in this discussion? Whose are ignored or dismissed as unimportant? Who benefits if we allow our public education system to be dismantled? Certainly not our children.
This blog, therefore, will be a repository of rants, thoughtful discussions, links, and other musings about the state of education (and education policy) in the US at this peculiar moment in our history. I don’t know that I’ll have anything new to add to the conversation, but I’ll try. I invite readers to join in this conversation, and welcome differing options. However, I’m not interested in vitriol, hyperbole, or politics. Rather, I welcome engaged and constructive discourse with an aim to find common ground and make plans for real reform.
Thanks for reading so far.