Sunday, January 27, 2013

Far Right, But Far From Right

What’s right for public education is complicated. Opinions on what’s right are as diverse as the variables that affect school performance. My opinion of what’s right for public schools includes a Broader, Bolder Approach to Education, a culture of collaboration, teacher leadership, integration (racially and economically), respect for the teacher’s voice, ongoing professional development, student-centered learning, school-led community partnerships, recognition that learning is beyond measure, differentiated instruction, and, above all, extensive social and academic support for our neediest students.  My opinion alone is complicated.

In formulating comprehensive education ideas, I lean on the thoughts of model teachers (like Dwain “Doc” Preston, David Costigan, and others), renowned education researchers (like Robert Sternberg, Linda Darling-Hammond, David Berliner, and others), respected education analysts (like Diane Ravitch, Alfie Kohn, Valerie Strauss, Alan Block, and others), influential activists from the teaching profession (like Paul Thomas, Anthony Cody, Joe Bower, Nancy Flanagan, Katie Osgood, my wife, my colleagues, and others), and my own teaching experiences. Researching what’s right for public schools is complicated.

The thinking is not so complicated for the right busily repressing Wisconsin’s public schools. The GOP, with its stranglehold on Wisconsin’s state government, are implementing policies that are far from what’s right for Wisconsin’s public schools and simply what’s right for the far right.