You can’t open a newspaper (do people still do this?), cruise the world wide web, or turn on the TV without hearing about a group who’s upset with educators (remember the good old days when only parents got mad… usually about too much homework or book bags that were too heavy).
Public education has become the face of everything that is wrong with America.
And why not. We don’t have anyone else to blame.
Not overspending government. Not undisciplined politicians. Not dysfunctional families.
Our country is failing because of the school down the street.
You’ve seen it.
Busses pull up every morning. Students go to class. Teachers give homework. Administrators have expectations. School Boards do their best on a limited budget.
It’s a zoo.
It’s a wonder any of us allow our children inside these walls (this would be sarcasm… oh, you knew that already, didn’t you?).
People want public education to be the villain.
The good news is everything goes in a cycle. Given enough time this attitude towards schools and educators will pass.
The question is, can public schools survive until we get our collective wits in order?
My guess is probably not.
Schools may not look vastly different in 10 years, but they will be.
The buildings will be the same. Busses will transport students. Athletic events will be played. Teachers will give grades. A principal will still roam the hallways and yell “Hurry up!!!” into the restrooms (very likely, junior high boys).
But mark my word, things are changing.
How can I be so sure?
Because politicians have decided to fix education (and why not… they’ve done such a great job at addressing all of our other problems…).
This means education will never be the same.
While this doesn’t surprise me, something else does.
Teachers seem stunned by the entire process. It’s like they had no idea the general public (where politicians get their strength) had grown dismayed by public education.
This feeling has been growing and growing, but those of us closest to the situation seem to be the most surprised.
It’s like we felt education would stay the same for the next 500 years.
And this is the part of the story that shocks me.
As educators, I feel like we should be forward thinkers, but in this case we’re not.