LANSING, Mich. – Former Michigan state superintendent Tom Watkins points out several organizations have education reform plans, except the teachers union.
As we pointed out yesterday, the union’s idea of reform is higher taxes.
From the Lansing State Journal:
The Center for Michigan has one. So do the governor and members of the Legislature. The Oxford Foundation has one. What is it? A plan for educational reform. And it seems that everyone, with the exception of the educational community, has one.
Once again, earlier this week there was yet another conference on educational reform — this one hosted by The Center for Michigan (thecenterformichigan.net). They are to be commended for putting additional ideas on the table with a new education reform report and for hosting “The Public’s Agenda for Public Education.” Yet, “education reform” is beginning to feel like peace talks in the Middle East.
Certainly the educators’ voice is part of the mix in these various reports, but where is the road map from the educational community showing us their way? Shouldn’t the education community, which includes teachers, principals, parents, superintendents and school board members, be developing a common agenda for ensuring that our children receive the education they need and deserve?
At the end of the day, providing quality educators with the right tools and support to do their jobs — educating our children for the technologically driven, knowledge economy — is what matters, not rhetoric from the state Capitol.
So, where are teachers’ voices in Lansing for all this educational reform buzz? Shouldn’t they have a leading role?
I am not talking about lobbying efforts against Gov. Rick Snyder’s reform agenda or the legislation he introduced. It is easy to be “against” something. The more difficult task lies in creating a comprehensive agenda that addresses the issue. Quite simply, the educators’ plan is missing from the debate.
Complaints from the traditional education community center on the direction Gov. Snyder wants to take — with no comprehensive counter plan that addresses the shortcomings of our schools (traditional and charter).