Wow. That was truly my first reaction when I read the manifesto published in The Washington Post today. For those of you with a sense of history and perspective, the last time that I truly heard this term even used seriously, we were tracking down a guy in the woods of Montana. As a teacher, this piece is simply appalling. Please, before you read anything else in this post, if you haven’t already clicked on that link above and read the words of Joel Stein, Michelle Rhee, et. al., make sure to do so.
The last thing that I want to do is claim that our system of public education doesn’t need work. It does and anybody with half a brain can see this. But divisive forces like Mr. Stein and Ms. Rhee aren’t helping anything by having a piece like this published. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. And this is truly a shame.
Until we can all come to the conclusion that WE ALL must play a role in this absolutely necessary turnaround of OUR educational system in the United States, we are only going to continue to tear each other down. And let’s get this straight: by ALL, I mean all of the stakeholders in our system – which means EVERY SINGLE CITIZEN IN OUR COUNTRY. That’s teachers and parents, administrators and students, school board members and legislators, Michelle Rhee and Joel Stein, John and Jane Doe. If we all don’t climb aboard the bus, to use the metaphor we use over and over in my school district, we just aren’t going to be able to achieve anything.
I’ve been doing a ton of reading in the past couple months regarding educational reform and have some pretty strong opinions. I hope you continue to read as I spout them out.
To be continued, you can count on that…