Showing posts from March, 2014

Dear Mr. Duncan

Dear Mr. Duncan,     We haven’t met. I would be happy to do so, but considering our respective views on education, leadership and what constitutes constructive education reform I rather doubt we will have that opportunity.  I do have several questions  and observations I would like for you to consider.  Let me say first that we seem to agree on the importance of teachers in the educational process.  Teachers do indeed make a difference in the lives of  children.  They do indeed deserve more respect and financial compensation than they currently receive.  I think, however, that our agreements end there.   I believe that teachers more often succeed in our educational system in spite of your “reforms” and not because of them.     I would suggest that you, as Secretary of Education, should be a leader in  support of public schools and the efforts of thousands of teachers to make a difference in the lives of students.  I believe you should begin a national conversation on teaching and

Five Things I Learned

Five Things I Learned From PAGE’s HSRI     If you want to start an argument with any teacher, simply bring up the topic of professional development.  One of the more interesting professional conversations I ever heard centered around the issue of whether “professional” and “development”, similar to the conundrum of “rap” and “music”, were oxymoronic or mutually exclusive terms.  Over the past eight or so years, Georgia teachers have been subjected to endless hours of handouts, death-by-PowerPoint presentations and monologues on an endless line of topics from well-meaning, kind hearted presenters, more often than not keenly aware of the antipathetic attitudes their subjects hold silently in their thoughts as they cross their arms and prepare for yet another in a long series of near death experiences that allow no time for questions, clarification or disagreement.  In most cases these presentations are held after a long work day or even worse, during a work day when any teacher would