The problem at meetings such as Reclaiming the Conversation on Education conference is that they tend to be "anti" meetings that do not present a clear alternative agenda defining what participants believe is the role public education should play in a democratic society.
On the one hand, teachers need to trust the appraisal system and the individuals carrying out the appraisals. On the other hand, teachers need, as one teacher put it, earn the trust in their work. Effective appraisal is the foundation for both.
While the CTU didn't get everything they were after, their organizing raised awareness about the larger trends towards privatization and increasing isolation of the lowest income children in inferior, under-resourced schools.
What's Sequestration, And Why Should You Care About It? The good folks at Politics K-12 have a lengthy, 12-part explainer on sequestration and schools.
Teachers unions will never be as evil as the NRA. But if they find the comparison so offensive, then they need abandon their reactionary positions and push their profession forward.
This spring will mark 30 years since "A Nation at Risk" was issued. And yet, how many have even heard of the report these days -- a report which, while drawing the ire of many in the education establishment, was factual, clear, well-regarded by a majority of diverse lawmakers, and is still relevant today?
Deal Or No Deal? This afternoon, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said the union was calling it quits on negotiations with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg over teacher evaluations. Shockingly, each side blames the other. What does this mean? The city will lose oh, a couple hundred million dollars in state budget money. Bloomberg says, via Gothamschools, that it's "too soon to tell" whether the loss will necessitate teacher layoffs.
When it comes to the gritty, detailed business of writing and enacting education reform laws, we must remember what is on the table when we sit down to negotiate -- the ability of all children to get a good education, regardless of their race, income or zip code.
A mild kerfuffle erupted in the last couple of weeks over who in the education community could claim ownership of some of the selfless heroism displayed by Sandy Hook staff. Notable reform opponent Diane Ravitch happened to mention that they belonged to their professional union.
The backdrop to the legal controversy is a growing rebellion against high-stakes standardized tests, which some say perpetuate racial and socioeconomic equity in urban schools.
We are at a crossroads in this country. There is a significant mismatch between where the jobs are and what our educational system is producing.
Teachers aren't suggesting they not be held accountable. What they're saying is that we acknowledge the realities of the classroom, that we not gloss over the real problems, formidable as they may be, and pretend that the flaws in our education system are the fault of the teachers.
The principals' job isn't to subjectively punish teachers who don't follow a prescribed path; it's to support the teacher so they can do what they do best. If you let the teachers do what they do best, most of them will do just that.
If we, as a society, valued teachers and what they do, they would be compensated justly for their value. Administrators would treat their teachers as a valued commodity in their community.
Despite the flurry of campaign attack ads claiming candidates are either job killers or job creators, one thing remains clear: If the United States is to hold a competitive edge in a rapidly changing global workforce, bolstering the nation's science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce is essential.
A little less talk, a little more action, and a bit of edutainment, and I think I see how the world's children will come to realize their true potential and build the skill-sets they will someday need.