Carly Fiorina recognizes the danger that a technology-dominated classroom -- a classroom focused on programmable skills rather than on messy and ever-changing ideas -- will become the location of job training rather than intellectual exploration. Education's great task, she said at a recent New Hampshire education summit, is not to prepare people for jobs, but to "fill children's souls," to make of them the kinds of citizens who can contribute to a participatory democracy. And that task, she insisted, requires exposure to music, literature, art and philosophy -- the very subjects that are currently falling by the wayside in the rush to elevate the STEM subjects to the be all and end all. From where I sit, this is just common sense, but it is not the common sense coming from the Obama administration (or the Bush administration before it).
Through the union, educators are raising our collective voice. Together with parents and students, educators are turning the tide. Teaching is our heart. Our students are our soul. And the union is our spine. When educators raise their voice and their power, we can reclaim the promise of public education.