In the U. S. Secretary’s initial sentence of his “Open Letter From Arne Duncan to America’s Teachers” he said, “I have worked in education for much of my life.” That is admirable; however are you aware that of all that work, not an iota of it originated in a classroom as a teacher? I am not certain what your thoughts are, but that genuinely concerns me. The highest position in education in the country is occupied by an individual that has never been in a classroom.
Believe it or not this is not the exception, it is the rule. Individuals that frame the rules for what transpires in a classroom, such as School Board members, Legislators and many Superintendents have never taught in a comprehensive K-12 classroom. A few might have taught at the college ranks, however that does not even approach what you would endure in a public K-12 classroom.
Agreed, it is nice to get an “open letter,” verses a closed one, from the U.S. Secretary of Education, although honestly it was as momentous as a presenter at a teacher in-service day. In the vein of the speaker, Mr. Duncan’s correspondence was overflowing with complements, appreciations, accolades and different quotes from teachers that he had “taken” recommendations from. But after that came the piece regarding how we require better teachers, improved assessment of teachers and transforming us “from the factory model designed over a century ago to one built for the information age.”
Trust me Mr. Duncan, the dilemma is not us old “factory model” teachers, we comprehend how to educate, we recognize the importance of research, history, reading and math. The quandary is in this “informational age” we categorize sex education and global warming ahead of Reading and Research. This is rather distressing considering that in this “informational age,” information is so effortlessly attained. Perhaps what you COULD do with global warming is permit the students to research the truth regarding it, investigate what ALL the scientists declare, all they must to do is Google it. I speculate the predicament may well be that students could discover what a hoax it is.
We place multiculturalism and tolerance in advance of Math and History. Possibly what you could do is educate students that absolute truths exist, such as in math, rather than tolerance which has no absolutes; instruct the accurate history of America which has all immigrants assimilate to the American culture as opposed to tolerating other cultures that may endorse as well as praise domestic violence.
Although it is pleasant to read that you hear, respect and value us; it would be a great deal more remarkable if we could in fact perceive it. We recognize you hear us, however which educators are you actually paying attention to? Valuing us would not be referring to experienced teachers as a factory models designed over a century ago. And respect is not declaring that we are compelled to ensure “America’s classrooms are the very best they can be.” Naturally every one of us desires that, however overtly replicating it formulates the assumption that our classrooms are not the best they can be and the added hypothesis looming is this is the rationale for education deteriorating.
Mr. Duncan I imply no contempt, however until you have spent numerous years in TODAY’s classroom, you will have absolutely no inkling as to what is best for education. When I say “TODAY’S” classroom I am referring to the one where certain students are rude, disruptive and unconcerned on the subject of education. And these are the students that receive preference over the students that are respectful, kind and are concerned regarding their education.
If we eliminate those rude students from the classroom we are deemed inferior teachers since we do not manage our classrooms efficiently and if we do not eliminate them they pilfer the instruction from those students that care.
Therefore, if you are sincerely concerned regarding America’s education, let’s commence there, educate those that desire to learn by focusing on the drop-in rate verses the drop-out rate.
Teacher/Author “Teachers… It Ain’t Your Fault.”