Arizona can make these dreams happen …
First, Team McSame calls for a total overhaul of education in Arizona with their first priority being, “… a clear definition of sound academic goals”. Excuse me for asking the obvious, but what have the EDUCATORS been doing all these years and with the millions of dollars Arizona’s poured into the AIMS program?
We’re not sure if Team McSame, John Munger & Lisa Graham-Keegan are thinking about Disneyland or Arizona’s struggling education process. Perhaps this puff piece lacking any real substance is merely a symptom of what some describe as, the Munger Hunger.
After promising to outline their plan for the reform of Arizona’s schools, they proceed to contradict themselves in two adjoining paragraphs! Here’s a sample: “… create an environment that empowers dedicated professionals at the most local levels to lead or create the schools that are capable of achieving…” Now compare that with the following paragraph; “we believe in the power of individuals who have dedicated their lives to education, in the innovative energy of our teachers…”
So what is it here? Are they looking for dedicated professionals to lead or create schools capable of achieving, or do they believe in the power and innovative energy of our teachers? Are they proposing a new paradigm or the status quo?
So far, we’re at the half way point in this dribble and still no outline of anything remotely looking like the fundamental reform of Arizona’s education system forever mentioned in the opening paragraphs.
After what sounds like schmoozing the institutional educational establishment with words like “dedicated, power and innovative”, they do a 180 with “… reforms that require teachers to have a deep understanding of their subjects. And experience in how to teach very different students”. Again, seemingly to contradict their previous accolades of Arizona’s teachers.
Hasn’t Arizona tinkered enough with the school systems? Haven’t our schools become edutainment processing facilities and quasi-detention centers replete with fencing and zero tolerance?
Seriously, have you ever just watched the kids leaving their schools when the last bell rings out that their day of drudgery is over? They just seem to plod home, void of any youthful exuberance – drones who have been “processed” for the day. Likewise, look at the educators, you’ll see a look of tired shell shock and relief that the day is over.
John and Lisa’s final suggestion? Pay the teachers more and “… we can expect the greatest innovative explosion in education in American history.”
What’s really going on here? My take? A wannabe governor is borrowing the name of a former State Superintendent of Public Instruction (an elected post) to appeal to frustrated parents who are worried the future of their children.
My father – a teacher of 42 years – told me once, if a politician says ‘Its for the children’, whatever they’re selling, its gonna cost you money. Take note, Arizona charter schools and private schools turn out a better student for less money. We don’t need radical reform, we need teachers not educators and the parents to back them up.