There are many advocates here in Baltimore County who have worked long and hard — for many months and years. It is (and has been) incredibly frustrating, depressing, AND quite scary at times.
Sometimes there is a sense that this is so politically and tech-industry orchestrated that no one should DARE get in the way.
It has felt as if this is happening for reasons well beyond our understanding. That this “pretendathon” absolutely must happen so that someone can move up the ranks to a larger level of influence and power.
It defies logic, insults our intelligence, and (not to be too dramatic) makes some of us lose a little more faith in humanity.
It is also woefully decadent when there are schools in our system that go without the basic necessities and where school systems across the country have – what seems like – new issues every day, with blatant and mind-blowing problems with school leadership corruption and – what seems like – willy-nilly closing of schools, firing of teachers and punishments of principals who dare to do the right thing.
In many ways, Baltimore County has it easier. And I recognize that. I look at some other school systems across the country and the inhumane treatment of both teachers and students, as if they are “throwaways” to the world. So much needs to be done to fix this.
I have no idea what or how, but much needs to be done to help those who don’t even have a shot at a good education or a decent place to live or decent wage to earn (because of the lack of education). I don’t know what the answer is, but I suspect that there are certainly aspects of technology that can help bridge the chasm. In fact, I am sure of it. But it is not all technology, either. Not in this way and not as an end-all solution either. I do not believe that our most vulnerable citizens need video-game-type learning to succeed, to make passive learning a way to engage them. I believe that they deserve better than this. And I do not believe that the ed-tech industry has the answers. I believe educators have the answers and that technology is a tool that educators can use.
What I have learned through the process of studying (by accident) the problems with my school system (which led me to studying that of others) is that some in this education industry are rock stars for the purpose of being rock stars and, yet, the humble go unnoticed or are even punished. The ones who are in it for the kids, don’t ask for limelight, don’t seek recognition and are probably too busy to even think about receiving ridiculous amounts of awards.
There is an unbelievable imbalance between the life of a rock star superintendent and the realities of our most vulnerable students. There is something really wrong when superintendents and other top admin (like my own) are staying in fancy luxury resorts all over the country, when schools in their own system are in need, or when school systems across the country have schools barely scraping by.
There is something wrong when our superintendents (and other admin) find little side-jobs in which they can cash in on their positions and expertise. There is something really wrong with this and it is so prevalent (and all over the country). In this way, it honestly seems to me that “school superintendency” is its own industry which has little to do with education. It is as if they are the portal to many things. To impacting social change, to geography, to how communities are built, to what happens to pieces of land, to how tax money is spent. They are in a position to wield a lot of power and I suspect that a great deal of temptation comes along with that.
In my view, we need a different type of leadership in education if we are going to finally solve our country’s problems. I realize that there is more to it than this, but I think that is a good start. We don’t need rock stars. We need people with an expansive vision, who are educators at heart.
In closing and be clear, the videos are in no way an attack on a man. They are intended to help awaken parents and are a response to the insult of all of the above, to the obfuscation, to the frustration, to the dishonesty. They were also made as a way to help disallow this from spreading as easily – elsewhere – in the way this has consumed us.
They also make a very frustrating situation a little bit humorous sometimes. I honestly laughed my ass off at points (and THANK GOD for that!)