Today’s New York Times carries an interesting story about the upcoming referendum in Idaho dealing with public schools and teacher unions. Some of the issues are unique to that state–others are echoes of what we have seen elsewhere. The dispute sounds rather fierce….
The line that stuck with me is this, “Some district administrators say they fear that in their bloodletting both sides are forgetting the students.”
Ah, that seems to be going on in lots of education disputes.
As I’ve written many times before, I fear that is going on in special education disputes, hearings, mediations, etc., between schools and parents. Where are the adults who keep the focus on teaching and learning?
It’s about time. Many of us know and are troubled by it–we have left the top half of our classes behind in our effort to bring up the bottom half. Yet, noone likes to talk about this, apparently, as it’s viewed as elitist… And, alas, many people believe that these students, often called gifted and talented (a label I do not like!) will be OK on their own, even without focus and effort and support by our schools. Well, it ain’t so.
I applaud Chester Finn for putting this vital issue out there, both for our national interest and for these students’ personal interests. It’s about time. We need to focus also on the top students in our land.
While his solution is to have more exam schools, I’m not convinced that is the way to go. No matter. The first step is to admit that we have a huge challenge. We’ll figure out what to do with that–once it’s front and center before us. Now it is.
For my loyal readers and fellow travelers in the world of education and school reform, I’m glad to say that I’m back! As I look back, I’ve had no entries since July 16– Wow! Life got in the way, if you know what I mean. It happens to all of us from time to time, I’m sure.
Now, I’ll start sharing my education readings and ideas with you in future blogs–more or less on a weekly basis. As you know my focus is on reforming special education–but we take in many other issues and challenges.
It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get going again. Thanks for being out there….