Victor Rivero recently wrote an EdTech article about moving away from NCLB. Interesting timing, eh?
So this is just a little strange for me. I feel like http://www.nochildheldback.com reflects a lot of the conversations that I have already been having. Except these guys take it to the next level and bring in people who know what they are talking about. The major downside is that I don’t see any conversations on the website. I see “Join the conversation”, but no conversation. It’s very much like walking into the Grand Opening of a store and all the shelves are bare. I see “Take action” but no actionable steps to be taken.
Here is another strange thing. The response from the EdTech interview readily points out that many reform initiatives are already in motion, and they wisely state that they want to unite them. Things like Michele Rhee’s quite popular StudentsFirst and the more local “Voices of Illinois Children”. And let us not forget the PTA. And perhaps hundreds of other examples, mostly at local and grassroot levels. It some ways, it is starting to feel kinda “Occupyish” – Will the real leader please stand up?
Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of good happening. I know for myself I can easily get caught up in talking the talk. I am now challenging myself to get up off my arse and start walking the walk. And that would be my challenge for you. Some action steps that come to mind:
- tell friends and neighbors about getting involved (mentoring, tutoring, PTA, volunteering, etc)
- tell them again in 6 months
- look for conversations in which people disagree. When you get 100 people together that all agree on something, it is really hard to have a good, soul-searching conversation. Easy to have a monologue, however.
- look for and search out real ways to make changes in governmental policy
As stated previously, that last one seems way out of my league. But I think it is important, and I am not willing to kick it off my to-do list just because it seems too big. And I know groups are already doing that (see way above).