I read Paul Borawski’s latest post regarding education and was overwhelmed with ideas for a response. And, I’ll admit that I started clack-a-lackin’ on the keyboard immediately… complaining about unions, inadequacies within all levels of administration, poorly trained educators, misallocated funds, etc. It really was quite a post. But, I deleted it. When everything was said and done, I realized that I was focusing on the micro issues and not necessarily with a global perspective. My tone shifted. I started over.
My passion for education reform only surfaced after my child entered the system. I thought I had heard the good, the bad and the ugly… but, it’s really a shocker when you put together the bigger picture and simultaneously realize the current level of dysfunction. The bigger picture I’m referring to, of course, is understanding the importance of educating our youth so they can make us proud of their contributions to society later in their lives when we need them. It’s important… it’s a priority. It’s how we can make this world a better place!
Paul mentioned the same thing by noting that “our collective future rests in the hands of children.” Duh, right? But, if it seems so obvious, then where is the disconnect between this realization and action? I suppose raising the voice of quality throughout the global community certainly isn’t a bad place to start. It would no doubt be a great way to find out what’s working and what’s not.
I do wonder why more institutions of learning aren’t following the lead of those with successful strategies in place. Is it learned helplessness? Could it be that each individual feels helpless within a larger system that isn’t setup to accommodate or process information and change effectively? Whether it’s the politics involved in developed countries or issues of limited resources within third world countries, it comes down to very simple solutions. It starts with making education a priority. It proceeds with discovering what works and why and then standardizing a successful paradigm that can be incorporated within a variety of environments.
I do think this simple plan of action could yield some pretty amazing results. But, then Paul asks how do we encourage educators and leaders to join in this “voice of quality” and call for action? To that, I’ve got to say I wish I knew. My best idea is to follow the model that has proven successful for private industry. The voice has to be loud from the top… so loud that everyone can hear it and feel the commitment. Their voice has to be followed up by action to gain momentum. I think the voice of quality in education needs a little support… a little unification… a little focus. Just imagine what we can accomplish!