First, the obligatory SOTU Wordle (’cause all the cool kids are doing them):
Listening to the President talk last night, I was 1) reminded why the nation went crazy for him 3.5 years ago and 2) reminded of why I wish he weren’t so, well, wrong is the only word I can come up with, education policy-wise. Listening to him talk about schools and kids and success..it was inspiring (though, looking at the Wordle, you don’t see much there about schools or kids, do you?). At least until I remembered that the whole thing is built on a fallacy- that test scores don’t reliably measure anything but affluence and maternal educational attainment and that they are less valid and reliable as you move from 10,000 feet (whole states) to 5,000 feet (districts) to 1,000 feet (schools) to 100 feet (classrooms) and 10 feet (kids).
Now, I’ve been beating that drum forever- as have a lot of folks with bigger names and bigger voices than mine. But now more than ever I’m hearing teachers- teachers who have fought the good fight and taken kids beyond what they thought possible- say that they’re thinking of getting out or, at the very least, thinking about pulling back a bit emotionally. “It’s too hard to love something this much and to have it hate you back,” is what I hear. It isn’t the kids who hate them, though- it’s the nation and the educational system. I can’t imagine that’s what the president is hoping for. Can you?