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Smart List: 60 People Shaping the Future of K-12 Education
9 Replies to “Education Pioneers, USS Michael Bennet…And You!”
I perused the bios of the Education Pioneers staff. Fascinating. I had no idea you could do so much in education and yet have so little experience in, you know, like schools and all. The TFA’ers are there in number, with their obligatory two year stints in troubled America like S, here: “Prior to Education Pioneers, S spent two years as a Teach For America corps member in Philadelphia, PA. As both a Special Education and General Education high school math teacher, she quickly realized that strong district and school-based leadership is imperative for successful academic achievement of all students.” Right. I can’t tell you how many teachers I know from around my large urban district who go, yep two years in and you know what? This district totally needs my help in leadership so I think I’ll get another degree, pronto and start telling them what for! “While a Teach For America corps member, she also earned her Masters in Education from Chestnut Hill College.” Well, it would be nice to have friends help me through–wait, how do I sign up for TFA?
Back to the staffers. Oddly, almost none of them have gray hair. I really shouldn’t be so ageist though because experience in life never correlates with understanding complex human systems. And like teachers are the last ones to know what to do with schooling. Totally. Every single staffer’s bio starts with why they are down with the Pioneers. So, you spend a couple of years here and there working in other industries and out of the blue, the Pioneers come a callin’ and you’re like, omg, they want ME? I always wanted to be a teacher but even if I can’t follow my dream cuz I am almost 30, I can still have an impact so, goodbye hedge fund management, goodbye senior analyst at the Treasury Department, I gotta help some kids!
I know what you’re thinking and frankly, it’s disgraceful you would even imagine one of them might be a little dishonest for the sake of ladder-climbing. Bad reader, no biscuit.
From EP: “Across the country, hundreds of thousands of professionals in school districts, charter schools, nonprofits, and other education organizations are working hard to ensure that all students receive a world-class education. Behind every student, teacher, principal, and school, thousands of leaders work daily to improve teaching and learning results. Great teachers and school leaders must be surrounded by great school district leaders, nonprofit managers, and education entrepreneurs.” “Thousands of leaders work daily…” Leaders? Behind me, where? OK, I’ll buy the entrepreneurs part but nonprofit managers?
More, “With a mission to identify, train, connect, and inspire a new generation of leaders dedicated to transforming America’s education system to ensure that all students receive a quality education, Education Pioneers has been building a nationwide network of high-potential professionals and supporting them to launch non-teaching education careers since 2003.” It’s pretty clear who they want to join. It’s not me. I’m too old, likely too grumpy, and too beholden to old-fashioned values like valuing experience, collective bargaining, eschewing standardized testing, and trusting teachers to do their job.
Whoa, wait what? “Yearlong Fellows will receive an annual salary ranging between $65,000 and $75,000, plus benefits.” [buzzing flight attendant for extra courtesy bag]
j.m. – dude, you need your own blog. Actually, really, you need your own blog where you can wallow in your own anger-filled rants and not subject us to them.
It’s not even worth going in on the merits of your post because it will neither change your mind nor lead to anything else productive. If you disagree, you need to go back and read any of the other comment exchanges on this blog.
Frankly, this response goes to all of the regular comment stalkers that troll Eduwonk. Quit wallowing in self-pity and hate of others that are trying to improve education. Take all the time and energy you spend feeling self righteous and crafting verbose and snarky vitriol, and put it into something productive for the future of education.
Take all the time and energy you spend feeling self righteous and crafting verbose and snarky vitriol, and put it into something productive for the future of education.
What would make you write that j.m. and regular comment stalkers aren’t doing something productive?
As for vitriol, you seem to dish it pretty heavily.
To give you what you are giving us:
you must be drinking the Professional Education Reform crowd’s Kool-Aid.
Only they would believe that teaching is not being productive.
You are a real cutie-pie.
Atleast jeff, bill and linda are using their real names, not some snarky and verbose “get a blog” sock puppet.
get a blog dude in short:
Get Off my lawn.
Hello, get a blog. Cool name. Nice day, isn’t it? Why yes, I do have a blog of my own. It is devoted to my students. See, I spend a lot of time outside of class helping them navigate the wondrous and troubled world we live in and connecting with them in various ways is part of my job.
Heck yes, I’m angry. Perhaps you are too young to realize how the changes that the modern reformists are crafting will send us to hell in a handbasket–with all of the best intentions. Since 1983, they have been trying their darnedest to get the unions to heel so the youngins could be taught something useful to serve the global economy. 30 years seems to be enough time but your temporal mileage may differ.
“It’s not even worth going in on the merits of your post because it will neither change your mind nor lead to anything else productive.” So, my posts have merits? Do tell… Listen, whoever you are: here’s the deal–modern American education is being hijacked by people who mean well and are afraid our country is going down the tubes and so, they are hell-bent on creating new types of schooling models. American education is also being hijacked by profiteers, charlatans, ideologues, Christianists, and snake-oil merchants who see a pile of money and influence to be won by hitching their corrupt star to the tons of cash to be had aboard the Reform Gravy Train.
And I say hijacked because the teachers who everyone says are the most important component of the process are being LEFT OUT of all these schemes, whether cockamamie or courageous. And don’t lecture ME about this or that little program where teachers are valued or listened to or whatever…in the BIG picture, teachers are being dissed, de-valued, and trivialized. Bring us into the picture and we will help; continue to marginalize our experience and our profession and you will only get the help of those too eager, naive, or ignorant to know better.
Yes, let’s all do something productive for the future of education:
Protect and defend the great public school system that belongs to the American people;
Help to stop the traditional practice of placing the least experienced teachers in the most challenging schools;
Help to stop the shameful practice of placing poor minority children in test-prep academies;
Devote your entire life to teaching our children. There is no job more challenging and few that will be as rewarding;
Support laws that will provide equal educational opportunities for all children;
If you are unable to teach yourself, support the men and women who do. They need your help.
Great points, Jeff and Linda
If you are unable to teach yourself, support the men and women who do. They need your help. . Couldn’t agree more Linda. But doesn’t that show the irony of j.m.’s first comment when he bashes Ed Pioneers + education non-profits writ large? Or when he automatically dismisses all TFAers who leave the classroom to work in education and support teachers more broadly as mere “ladder climbers”?
I don’t know a ton about Ed Pioneers one way or another, but I’m also not willing to scoff at, pass judgment, and dismiss them just by reading the staff bio section of their website.