Arne Duncan, United States Secretary of Education is on record as stating that the purpose of education in the 21st century is to prepare youth for employment in the “Global Market” place. This is a large change from the previous purpose of education which was to prepare citizens to thrive in a democracy.
Perhaps this change in mission is responsible for much of the turmoil in education today. Mr. Duncan is worried who our kids will work for, what they will do, and how much they will earn. In the inner city we wonder if our kids will survive, whether or not they’ll stay out of jail, and will they be safe today.
What we do know is that children cannot advance from one rung on Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs to another unless the needs at the lower level are met. So Mr. Duncan, you can test all you want and blame teachers as much as you do, but unless you step up and make sure the basics are met, don’t expect the majority of inner city kids to advance the way we would all like to see them do.
Whether we teach for citizenship or economics we need peace in our schools. Without good citizens we won’t have an economy to worry about so let’s not put the chicken before the egg. Mr. Duncan can make a simple move to improve the situation by praising teachers not bashing them. We the teachers are your teammates Mr. Duncan. Stop bashing us because you make it easy for parents and students to do the same. The end result Mr. Duncan, is no one knows whose team who is on. What I know though, is that Who is not at home plate.