Here’s the link to the article from the IR on the charter school hearing last week. I find the comments following the article interesting; it is clear there is a lot of fear. Indeed, anytime the “C” (change) word is introduced, we humans retreat. Even an inmate will chose the security and familiarity of his cell over freedom.
It was interesting listening to the arguments against the charters at the hearing. (And a bit amusing at time; like when an educator of 30+ years used the word “irregardless” but I digress.)
One thing that I found truly disturbing was Eric Feaver’s umbrage at the use of “out of state” help in writing this bill. Feaver is the head of the Montana Education Association. Really? Really? Is there a name for interstate xenophobia?
Doesn’t it make sense to consult with an expert who has achieved a level of success in a field, regardless of their state of residency?
I’ve spent too much time out of state to be impressed with the “We’re Montanans we don’t need no help” rationale. I find the juxtaposition of ignorance and arrogance in such a statement, fascinating.
Yeah, there’s bad charters out there. (I betcha there’s FAR more bad public schools.) And is a charter a silver bullet solution? Absolutely not.
Change has got to begin somewhere though. The schools have violated our trust. Our test scores are in the toilet. Challenge a 12th grader to read a 6th grade McGuffy’s reader. And critical thinking skills? Laughable. (Consider- Exhibit A: The “We’re Montanans” argument.)
And don’t show me statistics; the most important lesson when it comes to statistics, IMHO, is that people can twist them to represent whatever they want. Need validation? Just talk to a teacher. The one I visited with the other day said she retired early after 30 years in the classroom. “I loved it but just couldn’t take it anymore,” she told me. I’ve heard countless stories that echo what she told me.
The Powers That Be have paid lip service to change and have delivered more of the same. (Perhaps they were too busy discussing how the explicit sex ed curriculum is in the best interests of our children.)
If you haven’t contacted the members of the education committee yet, you may do so here.
We need education reform. NOW. Our kids deserve so much better.