Today I was given the opportunity to read the work of an ex teacher. (http://ateachertransformed.com/) This is a young lady who was very good with her students and who spent a lot of time trying to reform those people and mold them into good citizens. In this particular school there was no parent involvement, never any parent complaints and most certainly little or no administrative support. This lady worked as the Honors Language arts teacher and was able to ignore the many violations of human indecency that went on around her so she could aide her students. A very admirable role that was taken, yet in all her effort, was she ever able to help lift those students out of their cultural situation and save them to become scholars. Real research says No!
Attacking this lady is not the purpose of this post, it is instead to enlighten her and the many other misguided people who feel that American education is failing because of Unions, bad teachers and the Democratic party. Respectfully, none of these factors are the direct result of a failure yet are all parts of the system which is no longer allowed to work as a system.
At the RNC in 2012 Education is under attack. The teachers are still at fault for the ruination of education and the reason they are still in the classroom is because ultimately Unions are to blame. To all of the people who are saying this, lets share a coffee and allow me to share with you more than I will here.
Over the past 10 years I have been involved as a Faculty Representative to help aide the teachers in situations that involve administration. Sometimes the situation was blatantly an administrator pushing for power and or satisfying to want of a parent when no such need was necessary. Other times it was the teacher who was at fault and I was there to maintain balance of the situation. In other situations we did have to bring in the association for guidance and support. As a reader you may be saying – this is what Unions do. I answer – yes they protect the workers. I urge anyone who wants to remove a Union or association to first learn why these institutions are important and further why they are so necessary in America. Add to that even more important in a right-to-work State.
One story that comes to mind is from the above mentioned teachers school. My wife was told she is no longer wanted at her place of employment because she was pregnant. The principal chose to fire my wife from her position as a teacher and let her know it was because she was pregnant and that the children did not need to see this in his school. This is one example of the abuse that occurs in our nation and in our schools. With a call to the association office and a following of contract law my wife had her job back. This is an example of abuse which can and does occur in the private sector – which is respectfully not allowed in the government environment.
Another comment I would like to make is this notion of educational reformers doing an amazing job. Some of the worst educational reformers are being hailed as martyrs today. Michelle Rhee who cheated and lied to get where she is is no reformer, she is simply a dictator who no respect in the field of education, yet in the field of politics she is beloved. The same can be said for Jeb Bush and Arne Duncan. All of these people are working to create a private sector system where it does not belong.
John Thrasher, a Florida Legislator, recently shared that he never envisioned charter school abuse in the way it is occurring. His idea for charter schools was for the poor people to get an education. This is another example of how a politician spins a story.
In the field of academia the exacted result is not known until years after a child leaves the classroom, yet the tea party fanatics, who have no idea of American history, want teachers to compete for financial compensation. Education is a teamwork environment more akin to research and development of a product that may or may not ever work better than another, it is not a widget factory to create automatons.
Finally – and in respect to the person this blog post was written for: There are many ways to develop education and there is one sure way to destroy it. Pitting teachers, administrators, school systems
The system of education needs to overhauled. Not to test and test and test. Rather it needs to be given the chance to be a professional environment in which teachers are given professional wages and offered the chance to teach what they are experts at. Parents should never be given the power over the school, even if the tea party wants it to build more charter schools. the PTA is there to support the system and they understand the value of a teacher. The NEA and AFT understand support of the teacher. Consider the support of a family, would you prefer for me to tell you I appreciate you and never hug, assure, respect or care for you. In psychology we call this a schizophrenic mind. In education we call this tea part politics.
I am a Republican teacher who has asked to work with government to help develop a professional environment. Until people learn that the problem is rarely in the classroom, rather it is in misguided legislative hands and in the hands of the profiteer, then this country will maintain the educational process it always wanted – Wealthy Superiority over the majority.