There’s one simple concept that we need to remember when we’re seeking to reform education:
When you devalue teachers, you teach kids to devalue education.
Obama devalues teachers. Arne Duncan devalues teachers. Bill Gates devalues teachers. Eli Broad and the Walton Foundation devalue teachers. Teach for America devalues teachers. Common Core devalues teachers. Democrats, Republicans, politicians of every stripe devalue teachers.
Here locally, Wardynski devalues his “feed stock” and his board of education just gave him a glowing evaluation (that he, naturally, designed himself—he doesn’t appreciate being evaluated on things he has no control over).
Often times parents devalue teachers even in front of their children. And worst of all sometimes even teachers get swept up in the pile on and devalue their peers.
The most significant lesson that students learn in all of this is simple: Education is worthless.
They learn this every time they see their teachers, often the most educated people they know, treated like, as Wardynski said during a moment of honesty: feed stock.
If we want to reform education, perhaps we should try something new.
To reform education, improve schools, and lead the world in innovation, invention and insight, the first, the crucial step is valuing those who teach.
Everything else is secondary.