The Problem With Education Reform. And Disco.

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I am a big fan of change.

As long as it doesn’t effect me.Everyone Loves a Test.  And by Everyone, I Mean the Government.

I’m guessing most people have a similar feeling.

Unfortunately for us, we seem to be in a period of history where any change is considered good change.

I am starting to think we are changing just for the sake of change.

Except for Wall Street.  We seem content with them continuing to rip us off.

This time in our lives may be the most painful we’ve ever experienced.  Unless you lived through the disco era (consider me forever scared by bell bottoms, white suits, platform shoes, and the Bee Gees).

I get nauseous when I think about Rick Dees having a Top 20 Hit with Disco Duck (if you are under the age of 40 this reference will be lost on you… so Listen!).

I think educators are overwhelmed by this same kind of feeling.

Administrators and teachers are getting attacked from every possible direction.

Their crime?  Educating children.

How dare they!

Who do they think they are!

I have been working in schools for 16 years.  This is long enough to remember when teachers (maybe not administrators) where considered America’s best and brightest.

It was an honorable profession.  Maybe the most honorable.

Now, that’s just not the case.

Education reform (via our friends the politicians) has put teachers and administrators on the wrong side of appreciated.

We’ve become the problem.

We used to be considered part of the solution.

I can only hope this shift in attitude is temporary, but I’m afraid it’s not.

I’m the first to admit teachers don’t like change, but in the case of education reform I’m with them.

Not that I think we don’t need to change, we do.

Our problem is we didn’t know education was broken.  We were under the illusion America had thrived for the last couple of hundred years.

And public education played a big role in our country’s success.

It wasn’t the enemy.

It was the hero.

Now it has to change.  In every way.  And we are hesitate.

Can you blame us?

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8 Responses to “The Problem With Education Reform. And Disco.”


  1. Olwyn Hughes
    on Apr 17th, 2011
    @ 9:20 pm

    I hear you. But I am pretty sure that you meant to say that “public” education has played a big role in your country’s success and not “pubic” education because I think that would be a whole nother post!!!

    Michael Smith Reply:

    I’m going to change it… even though I know it will slow down blog traffic. :(


  2. Terence Ayres
    on Apr 18th, 2011
    @ 1:51 am

    Hi to all from across the pond

    As lead governor of a small inner city primary school one of the reasons for the success the school has enjoyed over the years – in 1993 we were rated one of the worst schools in the UK to one of the best is our ability to use change as an asset that helps teachers teach. In essence if new technology relieves pressure and gives teachers more time to construct lessons so much the better, however change must never ever reduce teachers to robots.

    Terence Ayres


  3. Alison Grams
    on Apr 18th, 2011
    @ 7:23 am

    First of all, thanks so much for having this blog. It is practical, funny, and “in touch” with reality.

    At some point, the parents of the students have to feel some of the accountability for sending their children to school ready to learn the lessons they will be taught. We can only provide the education, and the positive learning environment. The blame for education’s shortcomings needs to be shared by all of the stakeholders.


  4. Christine Ontko "Miss Christie"
    on Apr 18th, 2011
    @ 7:37 am

    I agree some of us are “afraid” to change, but the fact is, we must. Can you imagine if we were still using paddles to discipline children and female school teachers couldn’t be married? The fact is, our world is constantly changing. It’s just that some of this change has hindered the growth and development of teachers, therefore, affecting the students in a negative way. Let’s continue this discussion of change, and more importantly, WHAT should change and WHY…keep on bloggin’ my friends…


  5. Jim J.
    on Apr 18th, 2011
    @ 10:24 am

    I’ve been in public education for 33 years…the demand for change hasn’t abated in all that time. The shift has been that at the beginning of my career the debate was how to best EDUCATE students to become knowledgeable and informed citizens: now it seems the emphasis is on how to best ASSESS student learning-in a narrow range of subjects defined by testing systems driven by governmental resources. We are turning out students who have absorbed a lot of information, but don’t necessarily have the breadth of knowledge to make informed decisions about careers, ethics, citizenship and many other topics that aren’t measured by standardized testing.


  6. Susan Riley
    on Apr 18th, 2011
    @ 1:01 pm

    @Alison – totally agree with you. But that would mean that the taxpayers (aka: parents) would need to accept some of the responsibility for the education of their children. Not gonna happen. In our local newspaper, all we see from the parents of the community is that the teachers have cushy jobs, are paid way too much, and that they don’t do enough for what they being paid. It’s a blame game.


  7. Alicia Kessler
    on Apr 20th, 2011
    @ 2:40 pm

    Rock, Roll and Remember! Yeah, Rick was possibly more creepy than Casey and his “long distance dedication”.

    I think your last post – the video about college costs and the current one underscores my thoughts about why any college student would go into education.

    I believe that the shrinking budgets will be a wake up call for parents long before the lame politicians find someone else to bully. As classes get larger and curriculum offerings get smaller, parents will realize (too late of course) that those handing down the laws and tests have short-changed their children, not the average classroom teacher.

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.