The concerns of a first-year teacher

As I enter my first year of teaching, I am frustrated — like many teachers in America — by the lack of respect for my profession.

I know I will face the “shorter days, more holidays, and long summer break” comments that have long been directed at teachers, but I can handle those. (My Dad preached Socrates when I was a kid — “I know nothing, except the fact of my ignorance” — and I’ve bought into this philosophy.) People who assume teaching is easy don’t understand the complexities of the profession. But when I read commentary from people inside the education reform movement, it seems clear that some of them choose to ignore the facts.

Some education reformers dismiss and often insult the vast, peer-reviewed literature written by education professors, teacher researchers, and others. What is so maddening is that these reformers know that the research exists, choose not to give it a second of their time, and then have the gall to say teachers aren’t putting students first. By refusing to give credence to research that comes directly from classrooms, reformers are effectively silencing teachers. This is the kind of disrespect I cannot stomach.

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Civic Investment and the 'Skyboxing' of Education

Sadly, the public education your child gets often is only as good as the public education you and your community can afford. When state funding cuts put a popular program or teacher or even a planned building at risk, parents and boosters sometimes are asked to step in, reach out, and come up with money to fill the gap. Depending upon the wealth of the community, parents, boosters, and organizations often can offset some of the lost funding. However, no amount of private capital can replace the public funds and civic support lost through budget cuts.

Of course, not every community is able to raise private funds to help. And the level of need varies from school to school and community to community. A wealthy school district may need only new landscaping. Many districts, however, particularly those with significant populations of low-income families, don’t have enough textbooks or well-trained teachers.

In recent years, we’ve been witnessing the “skyboxing” of American education. Like their socioeconomic peers at ballgames, students in education skyboxes are buffered from realities most students face by their well-appointed educational accommodations: “Need an extra AP program? Right away, sir. Would you like an International Baccalaureate with that?” Meanwhile, the vast majority of students sit in the equivalent of bleacher seats, or they are stuck behind a pillar, squinting to see their teachers in overcrowded classrooms.

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Charter schools funneling vast sums of money to Turkey

Here's the blockbuster report from WEWS into 16 Horizon Science Science Academies across Ohio that were funneling vast sums of money to Turkey

Outsourcing education to Turkey and low paid Turkish teachers, with so little oversight it has been able to go on for over a decade.