Education: Finger pointing and blame placing is NOT a solution

Wanted: Enlightened school/district administrators, education experts, influencers wanting to fix our education system.

No, this is not meant to be a joke -- it's meant to be a call to action. If you meet that criteria, and take that seriously, we want to talk with you because we can help.

I was inspired to write this post because I think it's time we got down to the business of actually doing something about our education system rather than continue down the predictable, yet ineffective path of finger-pointing, placing blame, and searching for external excuses for why education is not meeting the needs of our children.

What do I mean?  Well, here's a sample of the "reasons" for why education isn't working:

  • School districts cite overly-restrictive teachers' unions for why they can't get fair teacher evaluation, hire good teachers/fire bad ones, keep salaries within reasonable levels, etc.
  • Teachers' unions blame the districts for not providing better working conditions, pay, benefits to their teachers. They blame the states for "underfunding" education and keeping teachers' pay so low that they can't attract and retain qualified staff. (more…)
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To end bullying requires a cultural change

I had an interesting experience last night, one that may serve to partly explain why we're not making much headway on ending bullying in our schools.

I was speaking last night at a local school, for a group of parents and educators. The talk I was giving was advertised as one on "preventing" bullying (actual title is "7 Steps to Eliminating Bullying in Schools: An Inside-Out Approach"). The presentation goes into details about defining what bullying is, explaining the different types of bullying, who does the bullying and why...all as part of the setup to explain how to cure it.

I wasn't more than 7 slides and 15 minutes into what was supposed to be a 1 hour and 15 minute talk when the first questions started. That wasn't a problem; I had encouraged the group to ask questions during the talk. I wanted it to be interactive, to address the concerns and issues they had so I could be sure their issues were heard.

What I wasn't prepared for was where the questions were going to go.

(more…)

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2011- What will the current year bring?

I'm not much of a soothsayer, myself.  It seems many people, however, like the idea of making predictions for the future when it's time to turn the page on the new calendar.  I'm not sure we ever really look back much, though, to see what came to pass or how accurate the forward-looking statements were.

I thought I'd try to take a whack on offering a few random thoughts on what we might see in the world of education in year 2011.  Let me know what you think -- or better yet, feel free to make a few of your own.

  • By the end of 2011, 49 states will have some form of anti-bullying laws on the books.  As of today, there are 45 states in the country that have these laws already.
  • However, in spite of the increase emphasis on legislation, bullying will continue to be rampant. I expect a significant upswing of anti-social behavior and school-based violence in late-April to early-May. (more…)
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