About a year ago, my wife gifted me with a red t-shirt she purchased from The Bitter Southerner. This one to be precise.
I wear it on many Wednesdays and think a lot about how the landscape of public education has changed and might still be altered after this pandemic. I also think about how all of the talk concerning how schooling needs to be revamped in the future. Most of all, I try to see if teachers are part of this planning or even asked to give input.
Late last spring, Gov. Cuomo of New York put together a task force to “reimagine” schools in the coming year after the COVID-19 outbreak.
And look who he put in charge – Bill Gates. In fact, that task force left out teachers.
In North Carolina, State Superintendent Mark Johnson’s short-lived “Schools Reopening Task Force” included no current teachers and no people from the three most hard hit areas by the coronavirus.
Even the man who crafted the precursor of North Carolina’s Read To Achieve Program and the School Performance Grading System while playing governor in Florida penned an op-ed in the Washington Post last May offered some ideas that would surely make his cronies some money.
When Jeb Bush came to NC in the summer of 2018 at the behest of NC lawmakers, I don’t remember any teachers at that table.
It’s kind of like re-imagining health care without input from health care professionals or receiving marital advice from someone who has never been in a long-term relationship. It’s like getting counseling from someone who cannot even empathize with your situation.
But with the continuation of an altered traditional school year and the need to start talking about how we will proceed with the rest of the calendar, it is apparent that the input of teachers is paramount.
Why? Because “Teachers Can Turn This Thing Around.”
And don’t forget to vote this November.