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 doubt that Putnam fully realizes how appreciative teachers are of his efforts to shift our toxic education debates to a conversation about the real problem, the opportunity gap. To close the racial and economic achievement gaps, we must regain the confidence required to tackle out-of-school issues as well as in-school issues.
We've spent many months studying the success of the nation's top education state, Massachusetts, and leading improvement states like Tennessee and Florida. Based on their proven track record of success, we have identified four areas that, with the right attention and investment, can put Michigan into the top 10 states for student growth in the next five years.
The basic principles of American business is to find something that's needed, get investors to mass produce it and then sell it to millions. So the government created a need by passing a law mandating that we hold schools and teachers "accountable" by requiring students to take standardized (scaled-up) tests.
There is little doubt that Michigan needs much of what Proposal 1 offers, but enough is enough. Liberals need to stop taking what they can get and start demanding what they deserve, and the only way to make sure that happens is to replace as many of the corporate-sponsored Republicans as possible. Voting "no" on Proposal 1 is the first step.
In these dire times of unethical decision-making by policy makers, it's important that teachers remain grounded in moral principles that have proven timeless in preserving the promise of public education. It has been painfully evident that union leadership has settled for political maneuvering rather than unwavering principle.