As someone who has only recently decided to join the the public education system your blog gave words to something I have had difficulty describing. Its been my goal for the last 3 years now to become a teacher solely to deal with this type of issue. When I started trying to become a teacher for some reason I had this mental impression that teachers just weren’t aware of how bad things are. The truth is they know better than anybody else it’s just that nobody has figured out how to fix it. The truth is that people who could have done more have given up trying to do more do than influence their little conner so they don’t have to deal with idiot politicians and officials who create standards without knowing the first thing about the profession and then blaming teachers when their grand plan doesn’t work.
[lightly edited since the original posting to achieve greater clarity and to add links by request]
I recently had a pleasant back and forth with Michael Petrilli of the Fordham Institute on what ails the high school. He was reviewing the recent disconcerting NAEP results that once again show high school achievement is resistant to reform. On this he and I agree. But then he proposed some diagnoses, the latter of which I think is totally off base (an E D Hirsch diagnosis). I strongly agree with his conclusion: it’s high time we better understood the problem of the high school. (Hard to believe that after 30 years of reform that started with me working with Ted Sizer in the Coalition of Essential Schools, we still lack clear answers.) After going back and forth collegially, we agreed to do some walk-throughs together next school year.
Meanwhile, I can offer a fairly sobering…
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