Where are the Progressives? Right here!

Have you ever found yourself in a room, listening to people talk about you as though you weren’t actually in the room too?  That’s the experience I had when I came across this piece via Dan Callahan’s Remix Teaching.

The title, “Where Are Progressives In The Fight To Save Public Schools?” was enough to draw me up short.  What do you mean “where are we?”  We’re right here.  See us?  Over here?  Not just at Antioch, but at IDEA, the Coalition of Essential Schools, and Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound just to name a few of the organizations that embody the ideals we hold.  More importantly, we’re in the hearts, hands and minds of thousands of educators, parents and leaders.

We’re in hundreds of thousands of schools and classrooms, doing the day-to-day work of teaching and learning with kids across the economic, social, ethnic and political spectrum.  We’re in public schools, private schools and charters.  We’re lousy at controlling the narrative (we have little time or energy for feeding the beast that is the insatiable media machine and we know we pay a price for that), but we’re here. Don’t count us out (and for heaven’s sake don’t lump us in with the Ed Deformers as the author of the piece does).

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5 responses to “Where are the Progressives? Right here!

  1. Maybe I didn’t read the original article correctly (a risky thing to admit on a “Critical Skills” website!), but I didn’t interpret the author as connecting “progressives” with the latest crop of ed reformers. In the original article, they use “progressives” in quotes as well, with a link to an article explaining how those viewpoints are not progressive as well.

    I think the original author was complaining that there were no genuine educational progressive voices being heard in the discussions about education; your comment that “we know we pay a price for that” is exactly to the author’s point.

    Which is too bad, really – if progressive voices are not going to continue to be steamrolled in the conversation, they’re going to have to start speaking out much more loudly than they’ve been. Whether they have the time or energy or not.

  2. I think you make a couple of great points. We (progressives) have to do a better job of taking charge of the narrative. I think the Year at Mission Hill Project is an excellent start and folks like Diane Ravitch and Sam Chaltain are adding a progressive tone to the larger education debate. The rest of us, however, need to get off our duffs and jump into the conversation as well, by telling the stories of regular kids and schools doing the hard work of quality education day in and day out.

  3. There are people who choose how they want to teach, fortunately. Being a Finn I prefer not to get too close to the political drama (of education) in the US, just because the negativity and blame are so overwhelming. Yet, the truth is that good learning is a global phenomenon, supported by dedicated teachers, all over the Earth. My two cents of good teaching are in the book (Choosing How to Teach) and in the blog. http://notesfromnina.wordpress.com/
    ~Nina

  4. Your style is unique in comparison to other people I have read
    stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this
    web site.

    • Thanks for checking in! I’ll admit that it’s sometimes feast or famine around here- I tend to blog on a number of sites and my own site always seems to get short shrift! If you follow me on Twitter (@CriticalSkills1), you’ll see my shameless self promotion when I put things up on other blogs or have pieces come out in print. Thanks for stopping by!

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