Change of Heart on Choice, Reform, Funding, and Unions: Time for Ed Is Playing!!
It’s been several days since I’ve had a chance to write here. The end of my spring break provided a lot of time for reflection on some issues that really have been bothering me. Now that I’ve had time to re-evaluate my well-known positions on some key education issues, I feel it is my obligation to share with you the following:
- When it comes to education, I’ve come to agree with Diane Ravitch that parents don’t really know what is best for kids. They should leave it all up to the experts in the classroom and the school district administration building. (I would also like to apply this logic to the question of eating vegetables, an area in which I’m now considered an expert.)
- As a result, I now believe this whole idea of school choice is really overblown, and actually undermines the great work professional educators do on our behalf every day. Instead of celebrating the recent Indiana Supreme Court decision, we all should be sobbing our hearts out right along with the Hoosiers fans, whose team went down hard in the Sweet 16.
- I’ve also made a resolution to stop spending nearly so much time praising the innovative, transformational work going on in school districts like Douglas County and Falcon 49. In fact, I feel really bad for all the time and energy I’ve spent undermining the great traditions of public education unions and bureaucracy.
- All this talk about the power of digital learning and policy road maps suddenly has made me feel quite ill. Really. I still believe educational technology can be done wrong, but now I’m also convinced that there’s no way to do it right. Are you hearing me? Slates, chalk, and McGuffey’s readers for everyone!
- Despite all my earlier protestations, the term “transparency” is clearly a trite ploy to convince everyday Americans that they can’t trust their expert school leaders. Rather than confusing people and overloading them with information, schools ought to pull the budgets and spending offline, and keep important negotiations secluded from the painful limelight.
- I’ve seen the light in other areas, too. School leaders just need more dollars to make everything work. Maybe if you all could help me plant a few “magical money trees,” then we wouldn’t need to argue about school funding facts any more. Maybe someday Colorado can show everyone and spend $20,000 per student more than the national average!
- I’ve realized the Colorado Education Association and other teachers unions are just looking out for all teachers and helping to make them better at their jobs. I find the words of retiring NEA counsel Bob Chanin inspiring and refreshing. In fact, I’m thinking about starting a Junior Edubloggers Union and demanding school districts start deducting
my slush fund— our member dues. Who’s with me?
It feels as though a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders. For the longest time, I was being repressed into saying all those awful things about education reform that, upon careful consideration, I now much better understand to be riddled with falsehoods and bad intentions. In a highly unusual step, I actually asked my mom if I could take a bath so I could wash all the guilt away.
I embrace my newfound beliefs so much, that I can now devote more time to Legos and video games. Rather than expending all that energy “watching” the world of education in Colorado, when the experts are doing a perfectly fine job, it’s now time for non-stop “Ed Is Playing.” Does that mean I’d have to change Web domains?
Just kidding! Look at the calendar everyone: Hope you’re having a fun April Fools Day!!!