Writing my way through the school year!

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!

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Comments on: "Shouldn’t An Educator’s Opinion Count?" (4)

  1. Richard Cottingham said:

    There are several reasons why teachers’ opinions are unwelcome in the debate about testing, test scores, charter schools, and privatization. The main reason is, of course the simple fact that teachers DO KNOW what works and what does not work in classrooms.

    Testing is nothing more than a means to the end of demonizing public schools so that the public will support the use of taxpayer money to finance for profit private and charter schools. Keep in mind that there are billions of dollars at stake here. The last thing these greedy millionaires want is facts from teachers intefering with their plans.

    The tests are poor indicators of the quality of learning or the quality of teaching and everyone knows it. They are excellent tools for belittling teachers, school systems, and sound instructional policy.

    Unfortunately, the public has already been sold the false bill of goods and is going to be hard to change. I believe that the only way teachers are going to be heard is by some act of civil disobedience. Something such as masses of teachers refusing to administer the tests or publicly posting the answers to the tests or in some other way disrupting the testing. I am not advocating this I am only pointing out that otherwise teachers will not be heard and students will receive an ever worsening education in America’s schools.

    Remember, trying to improve education by giving tests is like a farmer trying to fatten his hogs by weighing them.

  2. You are correct Richard, it always come back to money. Education is a BIG money-making business!Unfortunately, the students are the ones who lose in this situation.

  3. Welcome to our world. Millions for outside tech contractors with nothing to show for it. Teachers becoming villians, chancellors with no education background. Our school has smart boards because our parents raised funds to help get them. Not every school can do that. As for AC, our esteemed mayor sees no purpose even in buildings that run summer school. He says kids today are way too coddled and should suck it up the way he did as a kid. I am betting he would feel differently if he had to work in a 90+ degree room every day.

    • Chancellors with no education background? Hmmmm… sounds like NY! I am sure he doesn’t have to worry about ever working in a 90+ degree room.

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