With the reauthorization of the absurd and dysfunctional NCLB, we have a chance to once again let teachers teach and let students learn. We have a chance to ignite their imaginations, encourage them to reach their full potential, and expand their world view beyond filling in bubble tests with a #2 pencil.
I have made the decision to teach science at high-poverty schools three times during my career. My choice of teaching positions has been based on the desire to teach students who are eager, yet statistically unlikely to receive a high quality education, and on the knowledge that certain schools are better places to teach and learn
Teachers can and do make a real difference in children's lives, and a real reform agenda would make investments in improving teacher quality. But we must not pretend that eliminating due process would improve teacher quality, that raising students' test scores is the sole solution or that teacher quality is the only educational obstacle facing students.
Dr. King famously said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." The Civil Rights Act changed the face of the nation, bending the arc sharply on July 2, 1964. But much work remains. On the 50-year anniversary of its passage, let us rededicate ourselves to the task of building a fairer, more just society.