Tuesday, January 24, 2012
State of the Union
At a time when other countries are doubling down on education, tight budgets have forced States to lay off thousands of teachers. We know a good teacher can increase the lifetime income of a classroom by over $250,000. A great teacher can offer an escape from poverty to the child who dreams beyond his circumstance. Every person in this chamber can point to a teacher who changed the trajectory of their lives. Most teachers work tirelessly, with modest pay, sometimes digging into their own pocket for school supplies – just to make a difference.
Teachers matter. So instead of bashing them, or defending the status quo, let’s offer schools a deal. Give them the resources to keep good teachers on the job, and reward the best ones. In return, grant schools flexibility: To teach with creativity and passion; to stop teaching to the test; and to replace teachers who just aren’t helping kids learn.
Where can I sign on the line? I believe Chets Creek would take that deal tomorrow. Give us the resources just to teach so that we don't have to spend our time figuring out how to get technology that works or even how to supply toilet paper, for heaven's sake! Let us use the amazing gold mine of talent that we have to teach creatively and with the passion that is inside us. Free us from teaching to a test so that we may once again teach children to love losing themselves in a book. Make it easy for us to get rid of teachers who need to find their paycheck in another profession. Is it possible that these ideas can become our reality... or are we just caught up in another season of political retoric? How I want to believe...