To Secretary Duncan « Cooperative Catalyst
We need to expect ourselves to teach right by America’s students and challenge them with opportunities to feel, make, and perform authentic, humane work that will help them uphold our responsibilities to one another as American and global citizens. We need to elevate the purpose of public education so students get the opportunities they deserve and the tools and time to help themselves and their communities continuously improve. For education reform to be “real” we need to acknowledge that many kinds of education work for many kinds of students, and that a national program driven by standardized testing and materials from third party vendors is the worst-fit for most students. We need consensus that there are several right ways to teach, learn, and demonstrate both. And then we all need to hold ourselves accountable for letting go of limiting and harmful past practices. We need to open schools to parents so they can support their children and themselves where our shared work takes place, so teachers AND parents AND students can support one another’s hard work and learning.
Chad responds to a misrepresentation of the consensus he heard. I am always drawn to articulations of diversity and differentiation in learning. We live in a multicultural world composed of wonderfully unique people. I acknowledge this means we need some common ground or values to keep us glued together. Institutions work to impose this uniformity on us and it seems we must challenge the pressure. Thanks Chad, I love your summary.