Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Education and the Deflated Balloon

The other day sitting around the house, watching the news, reading about Education Nation, I started thinking about the state of education.  I know this is a Educational Technology Blog, but I am still an educator, so read along as I digress into some education politics for this post. 

Right now, education is like a deflated balloon.  The reason the balloon is deflated is because there are all these pin holes.  At these holes you will find politicians, entrepreneurs, superintendents, our President, our Secretary of Education, Philanthropist, Entertainers, Teacher Unions, and the Private Sector (I am sure there are more, but I will leave it at those).

At the main hole, the part where air really needs to be to inflate the balloon, are Students, Teachers, Parents, and Schools.  As much as we try to blow up the balloon to reach its full potential, we can't.  As much as we try to work together, our power can't seem to inflate this balloon.  We can't get out what we know will work in education because no one REALLY hears us. 

Meanwhile, those same people at their pin holes in the balloon are trying to inflate the balloon as well.  Some are working together, some are not.  Some are blowing at their own pace believing they have what it takes to get the balloon to inflate.  Some of those people have bigger pin holes because they feel they have the answer for education, so they create a larger hole to try to get more air in the balloon.  Either way, what they are trying to do is not working either.  As hard as they try, they continue to get resistance, they continue to struggle to inflate this balloon.

What we really need for these people to do, is to patch those holes. Allow those in the school systems to improve education.  You patch the holes (provide funding, improve teacher education, improve teacher tenure, improve curriculum, improve school to work initiatives, provide resources, etc.) and let educators take care of education.  Let those involved in education provide the helium to inflate the balloon that we patched working together and watch education soar in America.

What are your thoughts?
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