Friday, December 18, 2009

Adults and Kids

In the world of education reform, there's a certain stigma attached to advocating for "adult issues" rather than "children's issues." Usually that's in the context of saying how unions are ruining education. However, I do have to say that there may be a case made for looking at the adult issues from time to time given that they inevitably affect the children.

In Arizona, they just received a score of D+ in the area of teacher retention from the National Council on Teacher Quality. An article in the Arizona Republic goes through a lot of the reasons that teachers leave and you know what? They're all adult issues. Assuming that we think kids should have high-quality teachers who are experienced in the classroom, it seems like we should be looking at some of those adult issues and seeing how we can improve them.

The UFT used to say that teachers want what kids need. Maybe and maybe not. But kids certainly do need good teachers. And if we want good teachers, we need, at least occasionally, to look at the adult issues and take them seriously. It's not an either/or proposition. It's about finding ways to do both.

Speaking of Arizona, I'm heading out there for the next few weeks and will be away from the blog. So Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and see you in the New Year!

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