Saturday, April 16, 2011
Why Wait for Superman? Starting the Search
Growing up in rural Central Virginia in the 1970s and 1980s, I was fortunate to have an outstanding education. The teachers who guided me through twelve years of elementary, middle and high school were second to none - and the only thing which kept me from doing even better than I did was sheer laziness on my part. To this day, I still wonder how life might have turned out differently had I put in more effort and repaid the hard work and prepartion of my teachers with hard work and preparation of my own.
Now, having watched the oustanding documentary "Waiting for Superman", I can't help but wonder what has changed in the nearly 25 years since I graduated from high school. There are still oustanding men and women in our schools today - my daughters have had the good fortune of being under their tutelage under their still-young educational lives - but things elsewhere are not nearly as good. Why, for instance, do we still see underperforming but more senior teachers retain their jobs when more talented, but more junior, teachers lose their jobs during layoffs? Why must bright young students who are suffering at underperforming schools be forced to put their futures in the hands of lotteries for the few available spots at private and charter schools?
I have to praise the efforts of Michelle Rhee, Geoffrey Canada, and the thousands of other nameless advocates pressing for school reform and working towards the implementation of changes that will benefit those who need the help most - our students. I will be using this blog to highlight those efforts, the ongoing work in various state legislatures to improve school systems around the country, and the accomplishments of individual teachers that come across my path. And in the spirit of fairness, I will also offer articles and posts on dissenting opinions and a forum for discussion.
Let the journey begin...