Monday, December 15, 2008
Real Reform or Lip Service?
There is an interesting article today in the NYT about who President Elect Obama will choose as his Secretary of Education. The two choices represent the two camps of thought about educational reform in America. One camp is basically pro-teacher's union and advocates higher teacher pay and more and better credentials for teachers. The other camp is anti-teacher's union and wants higher standards, more standardized testing, and bad teachers to be fired. Unfortunately neither of these approaches will do anything to solve the educational crisis in our country. Two of the best teachers at my school didn't even go to college. It isn't a degree or a credential that makes a great teacher. It is creativity, love of children, dedication, common sense, perseverance, a positive outlook, organization, follow-through, I could go on and on. What American schools need is innovation. Innovation is not about credentials, it is about ideas. When Larry and Sergey were in their garage creating Google, did anyone ask for their degrees? I don't think so. If our new president is serious about educating the citizens of tomorrow, I have a few ideas for him. And they don't have anything to do with the teacher's union.