Sunday, January 29, 2012

Comment to President Obama on Remove Arne Duncan Petition

Get politicians and corporate CEO's out of education. Put those who actually educate in charge. It's that simple!

Children are not widgets, clones or copies. No two are exactly alike. Societal, economic, family, and personal factors DO impact their "performance" on test scores. The purpose of education is not for children to perform well on tests. A test score is not the final product of an education. The purpose of education is to teach children how to think critically, how to find information, how to learn, while respecting their individuality, and to do this creatively. We do this, in part, by teaching them literacy, numeracy, science, social studies, etc. These are not all that we teach. We also teach social skills, respect, integrity, taking chances in learning, persistence, etc. You can't test that!

We need to be given the autonomy, resources and time to teach. Instead, we've had to spend the last 10 or so years fighting for our profession, our jobs, our rights, our education budgets, our resources, our reputations, and most importantly...our students. Teachers should not have to waste any time on fighting for any of these things that diminish our time and energy from doing our job...teaching children.

Shame on those who are using and abusing us, taking us away from our mandate - to teach our nation's children, as they work to game us and the system to privatize education so they can simply make more profits. Shame on you, President Obama, if you allow this political and corporate circus of education "reform" to continue. Instead, why don't those politicians and CEO's do their own jobs and fix the stalemate and partisanship in Congress, produce American jobs with living wages and decent benefits, get money out of politics, and end corruption?

Oh, and if you truly do want to end bullying, perhaps leading by example would be a good start. Stop bullying educators, stop bullying each other, and start modeling respect, decency and honor. Lead by example, as children learn what they live.

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