Why is it that the higher up one rises in terms of being an educational decision maker with real power to wield, the further one is distanced from actually working with real kids on a day to day basis?
Kinda weird, huh?
I mean, by this logic — wacky as it is when you really think about it — the ratio works out so that those who make the most influential decisions are the folks that spend the least (if any… and I literally mean, if any) time with real kids in real classrooms.
Let’s break it down in a broad overview…
–Real classroom teachers who work with between 100-200 kids per day. Immense exposure to real kids. Infinitesimal influence over matters of educational policy.
–Principals, Vice Principals and other admins. They see lots of reals kids but all too often it’s from their office windows. (And I question whether or not 50% of America’s administrators could identify, by name, 100 specific kids on campus.) They certainly dictate some policy, but big, big stuff is out of their hands in most cases and they are henchmen for bigger puppet masters in a great many cases.
–District Office Personnel. A healthy amount of power… but many of them go whole weeks at times without talking to any kids at all.
–School Board Members. Also a healthy amount of power. Do they know 50 kids by name? I genuinely wonder.
–County Offices of Education. A bureaucratic jungle where their are more cubicles than actual children.
–State Departments of Education. Now you are talking influence. This is where policy gets made. Kids are talked about every day — but real, live ones made of flesh and bone? Well, at least there are pictures on the walls.
The federal government. (Congress, the U.S. Department of Ed. TheWhite House.) Spectacular influence but they lean heavily on their political aides to give reports (in order to relay salient pieces of information inside 863 page reports such as, “Kids like snacks.”). They believe in kids. They fight for kids. They are the champions of kids. (That should lock up the parent vote, right?)
Thing are outta whack! And why? Cause the higher they rise, the further they are from what they need to see.