Because I was on Spring Break, my son and I took a trip to New York City, to visit family and friends. One of my stops was the school I taught at for 15 years before moving to Delaware. There were about 8 teachers still there from the time I taught. I was disappointed, not in the teachers, they were still doing their job. I have been gone since 1998, and the classrooms still looked the same. Unless I missed it, I didn’t see a Smartboard, an Elmo, a projector, or any of the basic tech tools. They have a tech person, but only two laptop carts per floor, and this is a huge school. I was wondering why , in a city based in New York City, there weren’t signs of 21st century classrooms all over the building. Where is the money going? Who is in charge?
As I perused my email from my LinkedIn Technology Integration Education group this morning, I came across an article, “NY Parents Seek 100 Million From Bloomberg Over Schools” Apparently the mayor nominated his friend, Cathie Black, who had no credentials or experience, to be the school chancellor, she quit after 95 days on the job. Guess it wasn’t as easy as she thought it would be. My question was answered.
Should I dare ask another question, “Why would you choose a person without an education background to run an entire city’s educational system?” I know why. The new mantra is to” run education like a business”! The other push is charter schools, where magic happens, and all children learn! Imagine the possibilities for schools in NY, or Anywhere, USA where educators’ opinions were not only valued, but used! It gives me shivers just thinking about it!:) Teachers and administrators who work in the field should know best, but our opinions are the least valued. Who would you turn to if you needed a medical question answered, your plumber? It’s ridiculous!
But this explains why, in a city as advanced as New York, you have schools with chalkboards, no air conditioning, and two laptop carts per floor. I can say this though, those teachers are working with what they have to educate their students, but wouldn’t it be great if they were given the tools they needed? Wouldn’t it be a sign of how valuable you believe education is if you put someone in charge who knew how to meet these needs?
May 2-6 is Teacher Appreciation Week. You know what would really make us feel appreciated? Listen to us, believe it or not, we know what we’re talking about! Our opinions and expertise should matter!