I recently read a post from @oaklandschools regarding the top five problems and solutions in Michigan public education. The article was thoughtfully written and thought provoking. I particularly appreciated the solutions. It is a lot easier to complain about problems than it is to come up with solutions (or so I thought…more to come). I thought the article could easily extend beyond Michigan to education/schools as a whole. When I have a problem or a question, I turn to Twitter. I posted this tweet on September 13th:
We are looking to collect the biggest (20) questions/problems facing education/schools today. Send ideas. #edchat.
The responses didn’t come pouring in, so I posted again. On September 21st I wrote:
Still not much in return. Granted we are only followed by 7,000+ of the most brilliant educators in the world. On September 16th I tweeted:
Our quest to find the biggest questions/concerns in education/schools stands at 2. What are your thoughts? #edchat
I decided last night to give it one last shot with the following tweet:
Pls save me from complaining tomorrow by replying. What are the biggest questions/problems with education/schools today? #edchat
After four tweets, I have collected the biggest, wait for it, THREE, questions/problems facing schools and education today. I have been left no choice but to complain. A special, heartfelt thanks goes out to those wonderful people who did take the time to reply: @richlandinquiry, @gmmmmnnxk, & @mloewen6.
I’m left now very confused. From what I read on Twitter and blogs, seen on the news, or heard in passing, I thought the American education system was either in the toilet or heading rapidly down it. I’ve heard of numerous teachers leaving the field because it isn’t what they signed up for. Countless pontifications about how Singapore and Finland are so much better than us. Bold new grand initiatives like No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. From what I’ve heard, politicians aren’t happy, administrators aren’t happy, teachers aren’t happy, parents aren’t happy, and students are bored. For every one positive comment I hear, I must hear a half dozen or more complaints.
How can we — we being Ben, me, educators, parents, society, etc. — solve any of these problems and questions if we can’t or won’t identify them. What I’m left wonder is this…
- Do people complain only to make conversation?
- Do people really think our system needs fixing?
- Are people afraid to verbalize their concerns?
- Are people too lazy to write 14o characters or less to reply?
- Something bigger than this that I can’t fully comprehend yet?
Please, if you’ve made it this far into my semi-ranting post, leave us a comment or send us a tweet (@engaginged) letting us know what problems/questions you see in education, and if you feel like it, help me understand where society stands in my 5 questions above. I would love to start working on the solution to these problems, but it hard to solve problems that don’t exist or aren’t expressed.
I’d love to hear from you on this.
@EngagingEd on Twitter