Here it is in a nutshell, folks. And it gives me hope (VISION) that if more and more attention is paid to the flaws in the current educational reform movement (CCSS, RttT, NCLB or the trifecta that will destroy free, public education), there might be a chance we can push the pendulum in the other direction, take down the Sword of Damocles (if you will pardon mixed literary metaphors) that hangs over the heads of our kids. It is a matter of moving from Common Core to Common Sense says the author of this article. To me it is moving to a true CORE of education, one that centers on the heart, one that recognizes the teacher as the core of the classroom, the anchor (not the standards, but the person who is teaching). Why are we settling for COMMON when we have EXTRAORDINARY teachers out there? Here is the salient quote for me:
"We cannot improve education by quick fixes. We will not fix education by turning public schools over to entrepreneurs. We will not improve it by driving out experienced professionals and replacing them with enthusiastic amateurs. We will not make our schools better by closing them and firing teachers and entire staffs. No high-performing nation in the world follows such strategies. We cannot be satisfied with the status quo, which is not good enough for our children, nor can we satisfied with the Bush-Obama-Duncan "reforms" that have never been proven to work anywhere. "
Yesterday, at our state library conference, the day began with a teacher coming to sit down next to me as I waited for our first session to begin. She thanked me for my blog and told me it gave her hope (VISION). She had asked to leave the state testing onslaught in her school to come to TLA to learn about tech and books and such. Her principal is to be praised for having the foresight to say YES to her request. Then, we began to prepare for our first presentation. We were in a room that held 500 and worried that we would have enough folks to fill one section as many school librarians were not permitted to attend this year as they also monitor the state tests. Well, we filled the room. Folks stood around the perimeter. They came to see if my colleague Rosemary Chance and I could booktalk 100 books (actually 105) in 100 minutes (actually 90). We did, by the way, and everyone had a terrific time (I think judged by their responses). In the afternoon, several hundred folks came back to see Rosemary and me talk about 30-40 tween and teen books. There is hunger out there, hunger for good books to share with kids. So, yes, my vision (HOPE) remains intact that we will survive the latest reform and maybe, just maybe, move back to what is at the core of all this: the kids.