I don’t know why I do it, but I’m a sucker for listening to radio and television programs that start conversations about education policy here in North Carolina.
I guess I like to believe that by listening to policymakers, I might actually get excited about the future of education again.
Needless to say, the only real benefit of tuning in to these programs is that my blood pressure spikes for about 30 minutes, replacing one of my three required weekly cardio workouts.
But I did it again this Sunday. I channel-surfed over to NC Spin—a program on the local television station that pits two liberal commentators against two conservative commentators in an early morning intellectual cock fight moderated by an old guy who asks great questions.
About ten minutes in, the conversation turned to education reform—and like the faithful little soldiers that they are, the conservative panelists started talking about reforming teacher evaluation and compensation models.
Now, if you’ve spent any time reading the Radical, you know that I’m down with reforming our teacher evaluation and compensation models too. I’ve seen too many talented young colleagues leave teaching to believe that change isn’t necessary.
But I lost it when one of the conservative panelists said something roughly along the lines of:
“The time has come for a change. We can’t just keep pouring money into a failing system and expect to see results.”
Pouring money into the system, huh? That’s a
downright ridiculous exaggeration pretty bold claim in a state that ranks 49th in per pupil spending and 45th in teaching salaries, honey.
After cleaning up the Egg Beaters that I spit all over the rug and saying a few quiet prayers asking for forgiveness for cursing 86 times BEFORE Church, I settled down enough to realize it is time to start fighting back.
We’ve got to help our neighbors to understand that communities need to either (1). meet their obligation to adequately fund schools or (2). stop expecting us to work miracles.