Educators are more than happy to take personal responsibility for their actions. What they aren't willing to do is take the fall for the failure of legislators and parents which is exactly what this legislation makes them do.
No matter our views on education reform, there are some things we can all agree on. We need an education system that empowers our students and teachers to make this possible -- and we are not there yet.
It is an institutional problem and it is up to the fathers, the mothers and the schools to begin a conversation about how to improve this problem. I recognize putting responsibility on the school districts adds a burden, however, with a 50 percent divorce rate, this subject must be addressed.
Neighborhoods no longer serve as Americans' primary social networks or source of friends and advisers. More and more, these aspects of life are becoming part of the workplace; offices have even been called the new neighborhood.
The key is to acknowledge the fear and move forward. I knew it would be a tough day at school, but I also knew I'd get through it and eventually I'd have new friends. I knew I'd get through that job interview and either get the position or land another somewhere else.
The financial struggles of Detroit and its schools are well-known -- yet hardly an isolated case. Schools are facing short funds and long odds in innumerable cities across the country and, frankly, can use all the help they can get.
Teacher appreciation and validation is typically minimal and short. It usually comes during a faculty meeting in a 60-seconds or less "shout out" or in a quick conversation passing by in the hallway or standing in line for the copier.
Why did I write the letter if all of these things are true? Because over the past eleven years, I have been more and more concerned over the 15-20 percent of students who have given up on their education.
At some point, we tacitly consented to the notion that providing only 20 percent of the children in Harlem, those that win the lottery and go to charter schools, with adequate teachers, equipment and food, is a morally acceptable public policy.
I am shocked -- SHOCKED! -- to hear people advocating for higher salaries for American educators. Financial success and teachers go together like polar bears and ice: they desperately need it, and it's not like they're running out.