Sunday, March 15, 2009

Well, I'm Struggling...

I've been MIA for a while. It started with going back to school in January to start my doctoral program in Ed Research. Then, I had two conferences back to back. And I had a couple other trips thrown in there somewhere. I still have my toiletries in an airport security baggie.

If I had been on top of things I would have blogged at the time about the Learning and the Brain Conference I went to, particulary the discussion of developing teachers' social-emotional capacity. It was fantastic. Then I went to COPAA's annual conference (Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates) and attended a fantastic whole day workshop on creating quality Functional Behavior Assessments and Positive Behavioral Intervention Plans. I've scanned the excellent handouts and if you'd like copies, email me.

But honestly I haven't written much recently because I'm struggling with the complexities. On a list serve digest I received recently someone wrote, "We're losing the war.(Duh)."

As we get farther and farther away from individualized, developmentally appropriate education and more and more entrenched in defining "quality" teachers, students, schools, and public education as a certain score on a nationalized standardized test, I find myself increasingly frustrated. I feel that I'm a smart person... I should be able to figure out a way to win the war. I've studied how change has been activated by the netroots. I've learned about lobbying Congress for changes in the law. I have a first hand understanding of the system.

Yet...those of us in the education internet community cannot get organized. We do not have a shared vision. We should work to get rid of NCLB. No, to overhaul education all together. No, I'm going to advocate for my particular pet educational method. How about addressing societal influences on education such as poverty, violence, and illiteracy. No, let's advocate for un-schooling...or homeschooling. Should we support charters, or not? How about merit pay? Unions? It goes on and on. We're constantly playing defense, reacting against the framing of the standardista reformists. Should we organize (without unions who have not been addressing the work place environment)and demand that all teachers refuse to give the standardized test or walk out (and lose their jobs)? Or is that asking too much? (Short answer: yes).

While we flounder, guess who has met with President Obama regarding education? Hint: it's not educators. See and and

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