I posted a blog by Edward F. Berger a few days ago, and as is my occasional failing, neglected to add the link. He said much that was wise and ended on a thoughtful and provocative note, which bears repeating. As you can readily tell from his writing and thinking, Ed is a veteran educator.

These are the tried-and-true tenets of education in a democratic society:

• We do not experiment on children.
• We honor and get to know each child, even those who are hurt and will not score well on summative tests. Unless the system is overloaded – not enough resources and too many children assigned to a teacher – no child is left behind.
• We honor a long history of One Nation united by our education system through common values, comprehensive curriculum, one overall language, and free K-12 education for every child.
• We reject the false assumption that schools can be run for profit. Profits take money away from children/schools. These are dollars that must go to services for children.
• School governance must follow democratic principles, starting with elected officials and elected school boards, and not mayoral control, politically appointed czars, or would-be oligarchs from the Billionaire Boys Club (think Eli Broad).
• We have a proven system of certification and competence. Educators are constantly evaluated by parents, administrators, peers, and students. This is the reason there are very few “bad” teachers.

As an amendment, I don’t think that Berger is saying that bilingual or dual language programs are not part of our tradition (they are), but that every citizen should eventually be able to function in English.