Education Nation: Celebrities and financiers, but few educators

Anthony Cody says:

The annual Education Nation extravaganza is just over a week away. As has been widely noted, the list of presenters includes almost nobody with any actual experience working with children. No teachers. No prominent parent advocates. What is more, there is hardly even anyone we would recognize as being expert in education. No Linda Darling-Hammond, and certainly no Diane Ravitch. But there is, of course, the usual parade of celebrities and financiers — Goldie Hawn, M. Night Shymalan, and Goldman Sachs chairman Lloyd Blankfein. Educators have been completely silenced at a summit focused on our profession.

Can you imagine a summit on healthcare that included not a single prominent doctor?

We seem to have two worlds – corporate reform world, which Education Nation will put on stage like some kind of weird Soviet style festival of one-sided propaganda. And then we have the world of our schools, where teachers and students struggle with the impact of budget cuts, school closings, constant test pressure and so forth.


5 Responses to “Education Nation: Celebrities and financiers, but few educators”

  1. How about a summit on healthcare run by angry patients…

    Is our country made up of a lot of angry students? Based on their experience why would they invite teachers?

    As educators we need to show that we can be awesome across the country…we kind of have a drive-by shooting school system where if you are in the right place, and right grade, at the right time, you might get lucky and have an awesome teacher.

    Maybe someday when the viewing public has a school experience full of awesome teachers they will watch and simply ask…why isn’t my teacher up there? Until that happens, corporate interests will be in charge.

    What’s a public school teacher supposed to do? Complain? or focus on being awesome?

    My daughter is in an awesome charter school. If my public school and the teachers don’t like it, all they would have to do is be awesome too and I will gladly send my second daughter to them…would certainly save me a lot of gas money.

    • Paul, you know I think you’re an awesome teacher. But I confess you’ve lost me with this comment…

      Are you defending Education Nation? Are you saying that the quality of teachers in our country is so bad that parents are rightfully apathetic? Are you proposing that teachers not advocate for themselves to be included in high-visibility, national-level discussions about education?

    • Paul,
      And exactly what part of the “Reform” movement is going to encourage motivated, qualified people to want to go into teaching? Which part of it is focused on retaining the excellent teachers that are in the classroom now? That is what you’re saying that you want, isn’t it?

      • To be an effective teacher you have to see the classroom (the teacher) through the eyes of a student. To understand why the corporate sponsored edreform movement is gaining momentum you have to look at it through the eyes of a non-teacher.

        I spent ten years teaching in a location where corporate charter schools are blooming. I would never want my kid in one of those schools, but would choose it if I lived in the neighborhood that I taught in. Looking at the reform movement through the eyes of the parents of my past kids, I get why they would support it…I would also if I were them because the public education system let them down. Not because of the “institution” and how it is set-up, by the people who were elected, the school staff, etc…the town teachers and admin did nothing for those parents or kids.

        As a parent…I don’t know what I would defend about my public school. I have been lied to, I have been treated like I am stupid…I get why parents in my community would turn to another option.

        Are there awesome teachers in the schools I drive by? Yes…but not enough…not nearly enough…not even close to enough…just ask any kid.

        I am not defending Education Nation…I am saying I understand why it resonates with many individuals…including me. Folks who feel so disenfranchised by schools that they are willing to grasp and find hope in anything else.

        I am not defending it…just read any of my posts on ccss, I think you would be very, very hard pressed to find any other school teacher who has come out more strongly against the corporate entities behind it…I do wonder though…are we trying to hard to be invited to someone else’s party instead of throwing our own?

        If public schools were awesome…supply and demand would say that this corporate junk that is being served would never get purchased…right?

        And let’s see what I get for trying to squeeze another comment into between classes 🙂

  2. OK Paul – So you’re saying all teachers/educators deserve to be shut out because some of us? Most of us? Not sure … are “not awesome” and we have to rise to some level before we deserve to have a voice? And it seems you think there are no “awesome teachers” in any of those schools you drive by?

    And what could actual teachers bring to the conversation … right? We just need to shut up and become awesome. Interesting take.

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