Across the United States children are missing from our educational system. This should trouble you. Greatly. Once upon a time, I believed I could manage the chaos called Department of Education. Today, I still do. However, unlike our current chief aka the winner in fancy political terms. I would address the situation of 50,000 students missing from public and charter schools. Instead our fearful leader trumped for more money to head to our schools on the backs of businesses that are breaking. I would be personally call every household just to make sure they are ok and set them up for success. No, we are allowing them to run from the school-year of chaos. Instead, the department pushes for more money through taxation. This was a gross error as whatever money is gained will not be seen by teachers, we all know this, but many fall in line and believe the fairy tale. I do not. The department cannot continue running on the fantasy that we are the public education of years ago. We are not. We have slipped due to the political mandates pressed upon us, the little people. Only to cause our little people more stress, tests, and the benefits of less teaching. The system needs change and guts to make the changes needed so all kids can have a great education and all teachers can choose where they want to work not hampered by retirement funding. You get it.
Now back to the missing kids. If your head is buried in the sand and you think that they are coming back look at your district trending numbers. Please take a breather…Check your years in, your fancy non-classroom position, and ask yourself…do I have a job next year? No, you are a great teacher, or leader, I am sure of it. The numbers just don’t add up. Research goes a long way. Please do some so you are not shocked at the end of this year as the 50,000 missing are not coming back. Prepare my friends, prepare. The system has failed these kids. They have found alternatives to what many still believe is the only show in town. We are not. This should be on our benchmark test. Perhaps the system would change, let go of what takes great teachers away from teaching, and stand up to our boards and state officials. You see it takes leaders at all levels with courage, conviction, and a clear daily reminder that we are failing to do the right thing as a total system. No, not in our individual classrooms or even throughout some districts. As a complete entity.
Next year will bring change. Unfortunately, those that walk the line of the union are becoming stronger in this state by the day. I will never join. Duh. As such I will never get the accolades or first round choice positions. So, don’t worry if you are at a district with a number risk. You will win over me in in a head to head contest. Quite frankly a teacher without a full degree might win the position over my 20 plus years. Truth. I have crossed them many a time. I am still right and they still wrong in the direction of truly taking care of the teachers, but that does not matter. I crossed. But while on my tour, I had a false sense of freedom and spoke freely about the realities we all face that have only become worse. We need true leaders with hearts, no rational fear, and one who cares more about kids than a political agenda to make the tough calls for our kids and our classroom lives. We need this not only at the top but around the state in a variety of roles. So next time you vote for any position that affects us please check for that factor. I will create a rubric. But until then start speaking up for yourself, our kids, and your classroom life. I am getting a tad lonely.