It gets frustrating hearing the never-ending drumbeat of complaints about our educational system.
We need to:
mandate that teachers use technology, get the hierarchy into our way of thinking about technology and change, re-write the curriculum so that it is more engaging and relevant, provide better and more frequent PD, develop new read/write web learning communities, repeal NCLB, create more school choice and charter schools, reform higher ed and insure that we are graduating teachers that are ready to use technology tools and are prepared to teach in ways that engage students, have more federal and state leadership, expand the message of change to a larger audience of parents and community members, provide better and more effective leadership at all levels, develop passion based learning, project based learning, constructivist learning, use data to differentiate instruction, provide a computer for every student, online learning, interactive smartboards, and more Internet bandwidth.
For some, the answer is to tear down the entire system and rebuild it from the ground up.
There are issues of:
smaller class sizes, principals as instructional leaders, finding and keeping qualified teachers, providing decent urban school facilities, the readiness of students to attend school, their readiness to read, the cultural and economic backgrounds of the families and communities of the children the school serves, school safety, bullies, drugs, cultural decay, the enormous pressures on teachers to work with non-English speakers, even those that are illiterate in their native languages, low teacher pay, and shrinking resources available to support schools.
And then there are the students: dis-empowered, silent, passive, bored, dropping out physically and mentally, expecting nothing, cut off from relevance, and removed from the conversation.
There are educational statistics to be delivered on all sides. Great progress. Great failure.
Minimalists like Keith Fromme contend that the transformation we seek is created by finding teachers who love students.
If you could do something, what would you do?