Teachers on the front lines have perspectives that often differ sharply from the perspectives of the education policy institutions — the think tanks, the education schools, the government policy shops.
One of the striking things about education policy debates is the systematic exclusion of voices from the front lines. Again and again, I’ve been to education policy fora where no one at the table is a present or even past practitioner. (Or, the only teacher voice at the table may be a union official whose job role requires them to focus primarily on how policy change will affect the terms and conditions of teacher employment.)
Mary Cummings, a teacher in Arlington, has started an education policy blog from the perspective of the trenches. It’s a welcome contribution.
Thank you, Will, for your support and for bringing the insane prohibition of teachers from the reform conversation to light. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is the only licensing board in the state that does not mandate at least one member of the governed profession having a seat on the board. In fact, teachers are legally prohibited from being on the education board!
Wow. That’s unacceptable. It’s reflective of our society’s failure to recognize the value of education. The assumption remains that we become teachers because we are incapable of doing or understanding anything else. On the contrary, we become teachers *because* we understand. The new boards created by recent Early Care and Education legislation require the inclusion of stakeholders, including teachers, as members. What can we do about this glaring failure at the ESE level?
I’m open to suggestions. I think it’s common sense that people who teach have important experience that should be at the table.
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