Anthony Cody has emerged, in the eyes of many people, as a voice on behalf of the teaching profession.
This is quite amazing in itself because he is an experienced middle school science teacher in a high-poverty district, Oakland, California. He does not lead an organization. No one elected him. He has a regular blog that is hosted by Education Week. Last year, he was recognized by all as the driving force behind the Save Our School march in Washington. He is a leader because he speaks to the issues that concern teachers, and he is eloquent.
Anthony has just opened what he says will be a constructive dialogue with the Gates Foundation. Like many others, he has been disturbed by the foundation’s promotion of testing, by programs that imply that teachers are at fault for low test scores and that the right evaluation system will fix the problems, and by its support for Teach for America, which sends in a steady stream of novices to schools serving the neediest children.
What is especially valuable about his post is that he has a clear description of a school that is doing the right thing, where teachers are reflecting on their work, talking together about how to do it better, and where they are able to have small classes. They are treated as professionals, and they invest themselves in doing their work better. Professional autonomy makes them better professionals and better teachers.
The link above will take you to the opening part of this dialogue.
Feel free to raise questions and I will make sure that Anthony sees them.