...[W]hen it comes to education policy, we have lost all sight of what makes our country great. Through a bizarre twist of fate, we have an education system that would make perfect sense in the 1970s U.S.S.R. but is completely out of step with America's core values and strengths. We insist on top-down command-and-control. We micromanage every minute of every lesson plan.
I also see their frustration...perhaps even their anger.
I've felt the same way. It's difficult to see such top-down control coming down the highway - from Washington, from Jefferson City, from a district's own administration building. It's hard to know it's coming, dread its arrival, and face it head on when it reveals its evil face. It's hurts when it sinks its teeth into your own common sense and spit it into the wind.
Yes, it feels very much like an attack. A professional educator who knows what works does not need bosses dictating his/her every move. Any teacher worth his/her salt does not need a supervisor with pet projects and deeply-seated personal beliefs breathing down his/her neck. There is reason for oversight and observation, but there is no excuse for gotcha oversight and micro-scrutiny. How do Wagner and Dintersmith put it?
Instead of letting a thousand flowers bloom, we replace all flowers with the same lifeless, overtested weed. We take every ounce of bold creativity out of the classroom, replacing it with a soulless march through dull curriculum and test prep decoupled from life skills. We prioritize standardization and accountability, and don't seem to notice or care that students lack engagement and purpose. We rob our kids of their futures.
No they are not. With these lines, the authors have struck a chord with many teachers around the world. I gladly accept the titles of Rebel and Maverick in regards to my teaching philosophy and delivery. I just don't see myself doing this job any other way than to be myself, to add my own spice, to write my own script, and to blaze my own trail.
The only thing micromanagement gets us is more people leaving the profession, less people entering, and much stress and depression among those of us who ride it out. That can't be why we signed up for this. We would rather change the world and share our passion with the children we encounter.
Who's ready for a revolution?