The US Education System Needs a Kick in the Pants

I love reading op-ed pieces and shouting out loud, "Yes! You've got a point there, mister."
Check this one out:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/07/opinion/07herbert.html?_r=1

Our students need inspiration, motivation, relevance and innovation. We need to stop closing schools and start investing in our future. We need to celebrate daring pedagogical choices and encourage deeper thinking. We need to stop simplifying educational rigor to the lowest common denominator...and realize that questioning is vital, that risk-taking is the key. In short, we need a kick in the pants.

What we do NOT need is NCLB-inspired, competitive, teacher-blaming legislature that ties everything to one narrow standardized assessment. Although Race to the Top (and its legislative compadres) are well-meaning, I do not believe they will support innovation and positive change in education. Let's look at what it would take to transform teaching into a profession that is desirable, supported, and respected.

What would it be like if our schools had money? If teachers didn't have to work second jobs to pay the bills? Hmm...maybe more of our kids would go to college and be a part of constructive reform. Students of today could be taught by educated professionals who support academic risk-taking...preparing them to find jobs in a new economy, to work for social justice at home and abroad. Because, I think we outsourced most of the jobs for which teaching-to-the-test is preparing our youth. We could just ship off all of the kids to factory-rich countries so they could earn $2 a day. Now, there's an alternative path to consider...

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