I'm In! Why I March
by Tim Furman
Let me just say that it has not been an easy season here at School TechConnect. On top of that, it's hard for me to travel for a variety of reasons. (Did you like the self-referencing link there? Anything for hits. I'm data-driven.)
But I'm in. I'm going to the March-- just bought the ticket tonight. I think it was finally the Education Summit that did it for me. On the heels of the fully exposed corporate mugging of Illinois teachers, it was just too much. I'm not blind or stupid; I know that at the end of the day, the President will stiff-arm the marchers and brush it all off as simply so much "fear of change." I know that he's done some kind of calculus in his head and he's decided that it makes sense to transform public education into the polar opposite of the kind of education he chooses for his own children. I don't think he's ever hidden his thoughts on the matter.
The thing is, I'm not afraid of change; I'm in favor of all kinds of change. Audacious, ambitious change. What I'm afraid of, and what I'm opposed to, is dangerous policy, and that's what public education is getting under this President. I've spent my career in schools as a teacher, a librarian, a testing coordinator, an administrator, and now as a technologist-- I know that this is the kind of experience that disqualifies me from informing this administration, but I have news for the President: we're heading down the wrong road. There's a reason the President's education policies are so eagerly embraced by the people who didn't vote for him and aren't likely to in the future-- they're bad policies!
As Jonathan Kozol said, we need to "stop bargaining for crumbs." As for me, I intend to be heard, and I intend to be effective, and don't plan to just sit on the sidelines while people like Michelle Rhee destroy the great American school system with lies. I think this President has some kind of grand compromise in the back of his mind on every conceivable issue, but I've come to believe that that's the road to ruin, and I won't ratify it with silence.
And no, I don't want a ten minute phone call from Arne Duncan, unless it's the one where he leaks the news of his resignation.
So I'll see you all in Washington. If you haven't yet, do your part.
Tim Furman is a longtime secondary educator. and he has an interesting and varied background
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