Monthly Archives: September 2012

All Eyes on… Us

multi-cultural cheerful students
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iStock 000018501706XSmall 300x199 All Eyes on… UsSo who won? That seems to be the question on everyone’s mind in the days following the Chicago teacher strike. As far as I can tell it’s probably a toss-up. In the end compromise was reached and kids (who were the real losers) finally went back to class.

One would be naïve to believe that this is a case of no damage no foul. On the one hand teachers have made a statement that will reverberate loudly in other cities around the nation. With a unified voice they have announced that they will not be bullied into accepting longer teaching days, less job security and evaluation based on student test scores.

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Won’t You Please Come To Chicago?

iStock 000001090904XSmall 150x150 Won’t You Please Come To Chicago?It’s hard to remember Chicago being the center of such significant national attention since the convention days of ’68. And, as was the case then, the confrontation between the establishment (Mayor Emanuel) and protesters (Teacher Unions) may have ramifications well beyond state lines.

As of this writing, 350,000 students remain at home, while 25,000 teachers and support staff walk the picket lines. A proposed solution seems to be on the horizon but the fallout of the strike will effect policy decisions around the country.

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Toilets on the Shuttle

Shuttle taking off
The inconsistency could not be more glaring. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, speaking at the recent Democratic Convention, sought to rally the troops of teachers to the party cause by stating that the president, "believes teachers must be respected and paid like the professionals they are," and that, "no teacher should have to teach to the test." Say what?

The Path Less Taken

Teachers, Principals Discuss Students
The more things change the more they stay the same. Over the last few weeks I have seen the truth of that simple phrase. My work as an educational consultant has taken me to three continents in the last three weeks, working with schools within very different cultures, any yet with amazingly similar challenges. While the scope of those challenges reaches beyond my word allocation, one issue is too strikingly similar to ignore: parents. From Johannesburg to Jacksonville, principals and teachers alike all bemoan the fact that parents seem to be taking over our schools. Whether chairing school boards or organizing grass roots committees, they seem to be everywhere, voicing their opinions with conviction and unyielding determination.