New York Times: Future Schools Don’t Have Many Teachers In Them

Jose VilsonEducation, Jose

New York Times Headquarters

Setting the clock back to June 20th, 2011 …

*** takes a break from ranting about the New York State Math Test, opens e-mail ***

thinks to self: Hmm, this is interesting. A panel about schools of tomorrow by the New York Times. OK, I’m curious. Maybe I’ll get to go. Wait, on a school day? Who’s going to get to go?

e-mails this to a set of interest folk.

looks down the panel of contributors:

Man, I don’t know much about most of these people.

*** looks again at the panel ***

Ellie Avishai, you have an MBA, and you run a company called iThink. Not sure I’ve ever heard of it. Might have to ask my ed-tech friends.

Sir Michael Barber … Pearson. Hold up. Pearson? A testing wonk. OK, Vilson, calm down. Read the rest of the bio. “Delivering results?” Such as? Man, this is really ambiguous stuff.

Bob Beichner, a distinguished professor of physics. Here’s assuming if you’re not distinguished, you have no business being a professor. STEM guys are usually alright in my book.

Larry Berger is the CEO of Wireless Generation … mobile technologies, student-centered jargon jargon jargon … I’ll get to back to you …

David Brooks? David Brooks?! What – Paul Krugman wasn’t available? Charles Blow? Come on, Vilson, be fair. Just like he is with his reporting. Wait, what?

Greg Butler, Microsoft Global Education Strategist. Sounds fancy. UNESCO, World Bank, and OECD. The socialist in me can’t wait to hear this guy. First “teacher” and / or “principal” sighting on the page. But if you’ve spent 15 years as a teacher, principal, technology consultant, and university lecturer, how much time did you really spend in the classroom? I can’t wait to hear “I empathize with them. I was once them. Now, here’s my totally different idea about ed-reform that you won’t hear from others …”

Nínive Calegari is a veteran teacher with almost 10 years experience … hmm, OK, promising. The Teacher Salary Project? Fair.  Can’t wait to see who else they bring on this panel …

*** zips through … ***

Tech, tech, tech … director of start-up … Ivy League …

Joel KLEIN!? Isn’t he busy defending the wishes of Rupert Murdoch? Or running Wireless Gener … wait a minute. Larry Berger! That’s where I recognize the name. Well, duh, Vilson. Total cahoots!

Global, global, innovative, awarded …

Margery Mayer of Scholastic huh? -looks left, looks right- OK, she’s cool. We’ll just keep the fracking coloring book off the table, right? Right.

Director, director, professor …

Wait, a Black woman! YAY Joyce Pittman! You go, girl. Represent! (or the next blog I write might be about you …) …

*** smirks at self for Mobb Deep reference ***

Consultant, professor, founder …

Bob Wise! He’s cool. Real cool.

*** gives screen imaginary dap ***

Esther Wojcicki, of Creative Commons. Alright now.

*** rubs face a few times ***

You mean to tell me you couldn’t find enough current K-12 teachers and administrators to be on the panel? Is this another one of these instances where we proffer (and prefer) people in business and higher ed to tell teachers what they will do at them? I’m not hating. Everyone can contribute to the ed-dialogue, but I’ll be damned if I see another one of these “significant” panels without a lack of the people who are actually in the classroom. I got friends on all sides of the playing field, but few can argue how too many of these events go. Whether I’ve been invited or not isn’t the issue: it’s the lack of ground level voice (this includes students and parents, too).

Come on, son.

*** closes e-mail, continues ranting about the New York State Math Test ***

Jose, who, in times of crisis, prefers to write than to mourn …