Now I know that I am a bit of a hot-blooded alarmist. Quick to fire off emotionally charged diatribes and even quicker to flame tomfoolery where it rears its ugly, almost omnipresent head in public education today.
However, this morning I read this line from an article in the Los Angeles Times in regards to re-making one of our city’s high schools. The line said — and this is a direct quote…
What is happening there reflects a near desperation for reform that is seizing many schools.
See, I know why I am so quick with a trigger to roast education-policy idiocy. Because I see firsthand how the foolishness negatively impacts real kids in real ways. I mean my students don’t have time for “committees” to meet so that self-evident issues can be “studied” in think tank halls that are politically influenced by re-election contributions and impacted by the nuances of allegiances that one must have with certain like-minded factions (i.e. cronies) in order to remain viable as a “player” in the elections of the future.
My kids need this off-course ship to be re-aligned now!!
This is why I sort of view my approach to this profession from a take-the-bull-by-the-horns mentality. If we don’t act — and act now — things simply will not get done and stuff will remain the same for years, with people looking back on this day and age with an, “Oh what a shame we didn’t do something a few years ago” mentality.
Well, these are the days that in a few years will be a few years ago! That’s why I am such a fire-alarm pulling flamethrower by nature.
Yet the line from the L.A. Times article uses this language: What is happening there reflects a near desperation for reform that is seizing many schools.
Thems is strong words! And so I wonder, does everyone else in this country work in a school that smacks of being in “near desperation for reform”?
Are there folks working at schools that simply sorta need mild change (because nothing’s perfect) but for the most part, scrapping the entire configuration of the school as it currently exists and then reinventing itself wholesale is not a best case thing to do because in reality, that would be overkill?
As the article points out, Birmingham High is talking about a wholesale re-imagination of itself, stemming from a sense of near desperation. Personally, I see scores and scores of schools that also fit this description. Elementary schools in this country seem to be functioning better than middle and secondary — that’s my own take on the matter — but at the higher levels I wonder whether we even have 10% of our nations middle and high schools not viewing themselves through a lens of being in “near desperation for reform”.