Education is my business, and equity in education is my passion; equity for students and teachers as well.
For students, I demand access to all content areas, not water-down curriculum. For teachers, differentiate staff development, unbiased hearts and contentment.
Here is my thesis: if students have access to academic content that is rigorous and nourishing, (and the operative word here is ACCESS) students would stand tall and demonstrate achievement in those content areas. Competent educators who have unbiased and content hearts skillfully impart that knowledge, making it accessible to students.
Sadly, not many of our educators can say that they are unbiased or have content hearts. Our educators DO NOT have choices. Instruction in our public schools is turning into a math formula: show the standard, teach the standard, and administer the test. I think standards are necessary, however, they should serve as a guideline and/or baseline, but there is so much more to learn!
Let’s think of United States History for example. I would love to have the time to engage my students in debates about the usefulness or morals of The Manifest Destiny and integrate it with Language Arts and have them write from different points of view and come up with a class thesis on the subject. However, I only had 2 weeks to “cover all the standards under the “Territorial Expansion Unit” before I had to “test”. Furthermore, point of view was not an objective for this time period. It aggravates me not to have a choice about when to teach what. It also infuriates me that I have to thrust upon my students into memorizing stuff without thinking. Thinking requires TIME! Time to wrestle with authors’ ideas and to form your own. Isn’t that what education ought to be? Isn’t the outcome of education to provide the world with innovative thinkers? How the problems of our world would be solved if we don’t have time to think?