Educational Issue$

The most challenging issue for education …

Day 17 of the @TeachThought #reflectiveteacher 30-day blogging challenge is going to make me go there.

Why does education have to be so political? Simple: because it involves money.

I do not want to write a scathing political commentary but when we put a price tag on our children’s education, we are doing a disservice to the world. Voting citizens are forced into pro- or anti-educational platforms. I’m not political. I go out of my way to avoid talking about politics. But certain topics are impossible to overlook when so many passionate, professional educators must ignore external forces for the sake of their students every day. Only a few observant, informed students and their parents understand the degree to which school staff find strategies to overcome the crippling effects of budgetary limitations. Few realize the impact because teachers put the needs of students ahead of all other factors, as if the magical realm of a classroom protects any negativity from seeping through the walls. Learning continues in this nurturing environment, even if that means time spent preparing for the next standardized test.

I wonder how education would look without the heavy political influence. Would the shift emphasize what should be the priority of all stakeholders–attention to learning? Of educating our youth to better society?

Teachers could focus on best practices in instruction without worrying about resources or class size. Instead of fearing job security, educators could work toward professional growth and development. Students and parents would understand what students know and can do with their learning, because we would be able to look beyond grade point average and class rank. Entire districts could pool their resources toward progress rather than face scrutiny over public perception of school ratings–likely based on test scores and socioeconomic demographics. An entire culture of learning would evolve because we would support the educators whom we entrust with our children every day.

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One comment

  1. Jen Houlette (@jenhoulette)

    If we could truly focus on our classrooms, our students, and the best ways to help children learn, just think of the great things we could accomplish. There are many issues that create barriers to providing the best education, and you definitely highlighted a big one.

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