It is not about teaching; it is about learning
We had two professors, Dr. Joel Anderson and Dr. Haroon Kharem, from the State University of New York (SUNY) on campus yesterday to speak as a part of our Martin Luther King observances. These men both grew up in New York City and had to survive the gangs, inferior schools, etc. that existed in their neighborhoods. In spite of these odds, both men have earned PhD's and are prolific scholars in the areas of education and government policy with regard to schools. They wrote a book titled, "Our Schools Suck" which is written from the viewpoint of students in inner city schools in New York and Los Angeles.
Dr. Anderson made a statement to me as I visited with him after their presentation yesterday at noon that has haunted me since he said it. He said, "I believe we have the schools we want." He believes that the people in power in our governments at all levels make decisions to allocate resources to get what we collectively want as a society. The premise is that we could allocate those resources in a different way to put more emphasis on education if we really wanted to.
His argument is hard to refute. Does this mean that we really want schools in our inner cities that graduate fewer than 50% of the children who attend? Do we really want a small district in rural Nebraska to prepare students for their future without teaching them how to leverage technology to make themselves more productive?
I am still trying to sort this out. Does this mean that those of us in the education field are not doing enough to be stewards of our educational system?