Save Our Schools… Huh?

Update, 7/28: Writing at redefinED, Doug Tuthill and Adam Emerson highlight the rich irony behind the “Save Our Schools” phenomenon.

So apparently there’s some big national march called “Save Our Schools” or something like that. I told you about it a month ago. While the good people at the National Council on Teacher Quality took a conciliatory approach to pointing out the flaws in the “SOS” program. But the award goes to Sara Mead, writing at Eduwonk, for this effective takedown:

…This is not an agenda for accomplishing anything. It’s just a wish list. Half of it is a wishlist of things the organizers don’t want (performance-based pay, school closures). Half of it is a wishlist for things someone might want, without any clear theory of how to operationalize them or what that might actually look like in practice in the real world. (I, too, would like to see “Well-rounded education that develops every student’s intellectual, creative, and physical potential”–but in the absence of clear prescriptions and mechanisms about how to make that a reality, well, you might as well wish for a pony, too.)…

I can’t help but think that a lot of people marching on the nation’s capital for this cause — as pure as their motives may be — are tangling with some vague, outsized imaginary enemy. Then again, as Anthony Krisky has pointed out, it’s not exactly a grassroots movement. Given the pro-union sympathies of so many of its outspoken leaders, one might have to ask them what they think about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s reforms enabling local school districts to save teacher jobs? Is that “anti-teacher”?

Guess what, Colorado has its own “SOS,” too. I wholeheartedly defend their right to speak up. I just don’t get much of where they’re coming from with a largely illogical, fanciful and ambiguous agenda. Maybe we should just start referring to it as SOS?… as in: Huh?