Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Broader Bolder Approach to Education Elaine Weiss joins Mary E. LaLuna_Education and Poverty

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A Must Read on Education Reform, "Rhetoric Trumps Reality"

Market-oriented education reforms’ rhetoric trumps reality

"Reforms fail when they ignore the poverty related causes of achievement gaps."

:High turnover rates harm students." As is evidenced under Michelle Rhee's leadership in DCPS. Tom Carroll, The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future indicates that like in any profession, experience matters. "As Tom Carroll, president of the commission, notes, this figure ignores “what may in fact be the largest costs of teacher turnover: lost teaching quality and effectiveness”

Commentary by, MELaLuna, the greatest problem that I have with Michelle Rhee, the reformers, congressional leaders, publishing companies all the way to Marzano, Hunter, and the other "leaders in education" is that if you look deep into their portfolios, financial supporters and CV/resumes, you will discover that they spent little time in the classroom and/or have not been in the classroom for so long that they have lost touch with what a classroom today looks like. Then follow the $$$.Many of them have never felt or seen poverty first hand. I equate it to someone I knew who was on her 3rd marriage in 15 years. She had known her new husband for less than a year before they married. They had only been married for less than 2 years. They had both been married 2 times before and all 4 marriages between them had failed. As I was sitting eating dinner with them one night they shared that they were going to write a book on marriage, what works. I had to keep myself from choking on my food as I wanted to laugh hysterically. I had been married for 17 years at that time, and had known the man I married 3 years before we married. I knew then that there was no way these 2 could possibly write the perfect "how to" book. They never wrote the book, and 8 years later their marriage ended tragically as she discovered he had been cheating with her contemporary for over a year. The moral of the story is...people who have little working knowledge of the profession have no business imposing their concept of reform on a system that has been evolving for over 200 years in the United States and for centuries before that. If you want to know what teaches human beings, spend some time with Moms and Dads who are their children's first teachers. Go back in history and explore how the greats before us and without formal education evolved to become president, scientists, discoverers and leaders. Then look at our classrooms and ask if we are possibly doing anything to develop the next generation.

In short, do a reality check, the reform is not all you think it is. The scandal that Michelle Rhee was involved with is not unusual and has happened in numerous school districts under fire, seeking to prove that their way works. I witnessed it happening at a school I worked and I had to report it. It is a huge part of the problem and maybe one of the reasons why so many schools seek inexperienced, alternatively trained teachers. Those of us who when through traditional programs were developed over time to keep to a certain standard and we have years to figure out what school looks like.