What do I want in an educational experience for my children?
I want good teaching, involved and supportive parents as well as legislative support, without strings attached, of our public schools.
I want teachers who facilitate thinking, engage minds, listen to questions and promote critical thought but are not in fear for their jobs if they don’t walk in lock step with the school or district. I want a system that encourages healthy risk-taking and supports kids who struggle. I want a system of educators, parents, principals, superintendents, legislators and patrons who learn every day and encourage others to do the same.
Standardized tests are nothing more than the ability for us to measure what information a child can regurgitate at a given time during their educational career — nothing more and nothing less. They are a horrible measure of student performance and capability.
One of my friends grew up in a country that has better national scores than we do and in Jr. High was told that he wasn’t smart enough to be anything but a bricklayer. He has a doctorate and is brilliant.
The next Steve Jobs or Thomas Edison will not be successful because he or she tested high on an exam, but rather because they had parents, teachers, and a community that cultivates dreams.
It is time to stop using education as a political football. Let teachers teach and kids achieve.
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