I have so many brilliant readers. I am happy to share this space with them. They understand so much more than the pundits, reformers, think tank experts, and foundation deep-thinkers who are paid six figures to tell educators how to “reform” the schools. When I worked in journalism many years ago, there were two terms that described arm-chair experts: thumbsuckers and ankle-biters. We hear from them all the time in the media. But they are not the true experts. The true experts are the people who do the hard work of educating kids every day: their teachers, principals and parents.
|this is what “educational reformers” don’t seem to “get” about education–education is not a business, it’s a relationship.every time a school is closed, there are families being torn apart. and not just the families of students and parents–”families” of teachers, custodians, secretaries, principals, lunch monitors and many others who make their lives in these schools. these people work together every day, share their hopes and dreams, trust one another in ways few lawyers or engineers ever do with their colleagues, and become one another’s families. sometimes dysfunctional families, but families nonetheless.and when a school is closed, or teachers are moved around among schools like so many checkers, these families are ripped apart, and those relationships become frayed and torn, never to recover. educational reformers and policy makers don’t seem to understand–or care about–the real, human damage that is done by their decisions.our communities are not characterized by the businesses in them, or by the amount of profit generated within them–our communities are characterized by the number and strength of the human relationships formed between their members. and so are our schools.