Published: Wednesday, April 24 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
Re: ". . . if we want a new system created to meet the needs of a great
variety of students, we should ask outstanding teachers for their ideas."Agreed. But we can't stop there. There's nothing wrong with a
commission that includes a wider section of interested stakeholders.Business leaders, for example, have a much better feel for the final product
schools should be producing than do teachers, whose focus is the process, not
the product.Besides, every time we ask teachers, we're much
more likely to hear from their union bosses than from the outstanding teachers,
themselves.And, as we all know, union bosses don't have neither
a clue, nor a care, for what we need.
Thank you, Lynn Stoddard, for pinpointing what is needed for real education
reform. We suffer the same problem in Vermont: People in power refuse to talk to
teachers. In a video promoted as "teacher professional development,"
entrepreneur and Common Core architect David Coleman gives advice to students
with learning difficulties. He says they should read the same text "again
and again and again and again." He decries offering learning alternatives.
I'm sad to see that this is where Utah seems headed on school
reform: Again and again and again and again.
"Great teachers have always placed more value on things that are harder to
measure, like intrinsic motivation to learn, curiosity, leadership and creative
imagination. They value each student as an individual with unlimited
potential."Amen! So thankful for all the great teachers who have
influenced my life and the lives of my children... teachers who have recognized
students NOT just as one of a group, but as individuals with unlimited
I can't for the life of me figure out why such a commission should consist
of anything but teachers. Business people? If and only if teachers are allowed
to tell businessmen how to do their jobs.
Re: "I can't for the life of me figure out why such a commission should
consist of anything but teachers."Yeah, we sure wouldn't
want discussion of education to be informed by the needs of the community that
will be stuck with having to re-educate the product of our failing educational
system, would we?Let's just continue to isolate
"educators," "academics," and their union bosses in their own
little soundproof echo chambers, absolutely uninformed or unfettered by any
reference, whatever, to reality, accountable to the public that pays their
salary, only to the extent necessary to command us to shovel faster, as they
become dissatisfied with the inordinate heap of resources heaved in their
direction.That's the UEA/NEA position, anyway.
America and the Great State of Utah are in trouble because we have turned all
major decision making over to those in power or who have wealth. To take the
decisions about education out of the hands of educators, parents and students is
a step toward no education at all. Those in power and the wealthy do not see
the need to educate ALL CHILDREN. But only if we educate all, will we have a
society that can progress, support itself and treat others with respect.
Teachers and Parents know what children need -- not sure at all that the
legislaure even cares about education -- certainly given the funding they do not
approve to support public education.
Here's a real radical thought. Perhaps a task force on education should
ask students what they think. And not just the AP and 4.0 students but students
that struggle as well...
"Yeah, we sure wouldn't want discussion of education to be informed by
the needs of the community that will be stuck with having to re-educate the
product of our failing educational system, would we?"And we all
know that business leaders are super concerned with education and would have the
kids' best interests at heart... Right? Because, businesses would never
ever ever want a poorly educated cheap labor force to exploit... Right?
Procuradorfiscal, with all due respect the only "echo chamber" you are
listening to is your own. It does not do any good to engage in conversations
which are negative and filled with mistruths. The President of the UEA is an
outstanding educator, Utah Teacher of the Year,a nationally recognized educator
and a National Board Certified Teacher. The UEA's mission is to create a
great public school for every child.Senate Bill 64 created with the UEA
last year defies all of your statements. Enough of this blame game.
From these comments and from others I hear speak about education two things seem
evident: a) we are passionate about educating our children, and b) there is
little consensus. What if we were to look at it through this lens: what is our
desired outcome? Is it proficiency in the "3 Rs", or is it that each
child discover his or her innate, God-given talents, develop those talents and
gifts, and develop a passion for making a contribution to the world using those
gifts (we call those "dreams"). What would such a world look like? How
would u like to partner with an educator who looked a your child's
potential in that paradigm, as a "great person" in embryo? What if all
your children attended schools where Andrew Carnegie's mantra of "What
the human mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve" was a key operating
philosophy?"I'm not suggesting we throw out the basics, but
rather they be viwed as a means to an end, not an end in themselves. Proficiency
is not really all we want for our children.
All too typical of the current wave of corporate-driven, for-profit educational
deform. As usual, Mr. Stoddard's insights are dead-on.
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