No Hook

Jose Vilson Education

Education Think Tank

re: the future of education

Me: “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”
NYC Educator: “Maybe. Hope you’re wrong but you probably aren’t”

My Google Reader is replete with educational blogs: teacher bloggers, educational policy, and even administrator / collective blogs, and they pretty much all tell me the same thing: we’re headed for grim times in the field of education. The most telling sign of where it’s heading is the race for the presidency: How many times have you heard Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or any other presidential candidate for that matter really discuss their educational plans in depth? Unfortunately, a few people weren’t too pleased with my decision to not vote in the primary, but look at just a sliver of the presidential talking points for the more heavily touted Democrats a few months back (and, to be sure, the president totally ignored this during his final State of the Union). Not surprisingly, education is completely missing.

Not that education isn’t on people’s minds. When I tell people I’m a teacher, they call it a noble cause, and tell me how people depend on me and others like me to lead the children to a better understand of not just math but life itself, even conceding that they probably wouldn’t do it themselves. I understand their position, but when I tell certain people why I’m not convinced about Bloomberg, Klein, Weingarten, or any politico trying to snatch up votes, people look at me with the stankest of faces. I also see the same people ignoring education even in the blogosphere, even with this huge army of teachers, administrators, and support staff that write thoroughly.

This is what many teachers have already started to see: the deterioration of the image of the teacher. Not that many in our cohorts don’t act inappropriately (D’oh!), but that’s really the minority. Despite what the media might paint about teachers, most of the teachers I’ve come across are hard-working and integral individuals with nothing but the students’ interests at heart. Yet, it’s become easier to harass teachers and continually chip at their job security than to develop them. The conspiracy theorist critical thinker in me says it’s because, if we develop teachers, we then encourage teachers to actually teach intelligently, thus creating a populace that can analyze, rationalize, and understand, not so they can have sufficient skills for the workforce, but so they can look at their environment and make effective changes to their environments, making this world a better place to live in.

I can’t be moved on this issue, seeing first-hand how principals, administrators, teachers, and students have to battle the powers that be just to get a sliver of the pie society’s dealing us. Fortunately, we’re already starting to see the glimmer of the people fighting back and helping to push the agenda back to its rightful place. To be continued someday …

jose, who is definitely bumping that discipline by janet, and liking it …