Thursday, August 13, 2009

Teaching is theory in practice

Teaching is theory in practice. It is always theory in practice because we always teach in ways that support our 'true' beliefs. We also lead this way as well. For example, my letter to NCTE resulted in a personal three page letter from the president of NCTE and resulted in a letter to the general membership saying that we shouldn't worry and that our concerns, though real and not unusual in this state of educational affairs, will be answered if we just give them time. Ok but how much time?

I sent a similar e-mail to the International Reading Association (IRA) and outside of being copied with an e-mail from the new Executive Director (who actually seems to be a good man for the job) I have heard nothing.

That is the crux of the issue for me. Time for what exactly to happen? We waited for NCLB to work and it has failed miserably. We thought Obama might find educational utopia but the economy tanked instead. We voiced concern over the appointment of Secretary Duncan to no avail in part because he didn't make Chicago schools the panacea that has been professed. This smacks of George Bush's cronyism when Rod Paige was hired. What came out later was that the statistics he used were skewed so that Houston public schools would look like they were extremely successful. Some people warned us - we had deaf ears. We are warning people now and it is falling on deaf ears. I suppose it is just desserts but why should the children pay they price?

What is clear from the letters and from the Bush Era is that these processes - such as educational policy and governance - needs to be transparent to those of us who are involved in any way with life in these United States.

Transparency is key in a democracy or we will not be around much in the future. I want us to be here with well educated people in power at all levels. I want all of us to really have a say.

Talk to you soon! Remember we practice what we believe - always. Let's make sure that we know what we believe.