What I Want for Reform

reformAs I sit and ponder what to write about education reform for National Blogging for Real Education Reform, I think back to the numerous posts I’ve written the last few years… and I don’t want to rehash the same things over and over again.  Here’s what I do want:

  • I want parents, children, and actual educators to have voices in Washington that are heard, appreciated, and heeded. If the politicians were really listening to us, we wouldn’t need this concerted effort to blog for “real” reform.
  • I want schools where children can be free to learn, explore, discover, and be happy and safe.
  • I want adults to understand that children have the ability to make choices about their education, and that they don’t require adults to make ALL the decisions ALL the time.
  • I want children to be allowed to develop their strengths and interests beyond reading and writing. Science, Math, Social Studies, Music, Art, Physical Education, Family and Consumer Sciences, Civic Studies… these are all essential for children.
  • I want people to know that, even though I have over 430 students, I can tell you at any given moment who is meeting objectives in my classroom, who is excelling in my classroom, and who is struggling. I can also tell you how much each child has progressed in the last two years, which is how long I’ve been in this particular school. And guess what? They’ve never taken one standardized test in my classroom. They show me what they know and are able to do by DOING.
  • I want adults who make policies and laws to remember that every child is different. If my job is to ensure that they learn through those differences, perhaps the measures by which we ‘assess’ should also be different.
  • I want to be trusted as a professional to do my best every day. The amount of money you pay me will make no difference in how diligently I work. Please do not insult me or my colleagues by assuming that I will work harder for more pay. The kids deserve better than that, and so do educators.

Want to know more about how I feel about education? I’ve written a lot. Start with these:

A Lesson On Accountability – Part I

A Lesson On Accountability- Part II

I Am A Teacher

This is a LEARNING Class

The Art of the Opus

It’s My Pleasure

[Hit the archives links in the sidebar for more.]

There you have it… my wishes for education. I’m passionate about working with children, and I’m passionate about a free public education. Without it, there is no real chance at a democratic society. But without leaders who listen, there is no democratic society at all.

Ed Leaders: Do the right thing. Open your eyes, your ears, your minds, and your hearts. Find compassion. Somewhere, in the middle of all that, the answers are staring right at you.