Change I Can Believe In
Back in November, the United States elected Barack Obama as President of the United States. He won my vote mainly because he promised reform in education--that was change I could believe in. Unfortuntely, it took President Obama until now to really begin to lay out his goal for education, and even still, he hasn't had a prime-time news conference to advocate for that change. Instead, he's talked about health care and given his uninformed opinion about the Cambridge Police Department.
Today, Obama is making news for trying to "strong arm" his agenda with the pledge of 4 Billion dollars in grant money to be divied up among those who seek reform. Count me in.
Why? you may ask. Why give up the coziness of job security? Why stop accepting a raise for years of service instead of achievement? Because my conscience ways heavily on me.
It's not that I believe every student needs to attend a charter school, or that every teacher with 20 years of service lacks competency. Plenty of schools are working well for their students. But plenty of schools are failing their students. Plenty of teachers are caring and competent. But plenty of teachers are disinterested and incompetent.
Innovation is needed. Alternatives must be offered. The status quo attitude within education has to end.
Again, money is not a fix. Charter schools are not a final solution. Yet, we cannot deny the success of many charter schools because of the failure of others. Just as we cannot paint public education as a complete failure because of those that get reported in the news.
So now I'm waiting. I'm waiting to find out whether or not my school will embrace change. I'm waiting to find out whether a new vision will be cast. And I'm waiting to find out whether President Obama will find time to address the nation about the greater shame of our nation, which is the unequal funding of local school districts, not the uninsured.