Friday, November 9, 2012

After the Election, a Welcome Complexity

As outlined here and here, Tuesday's election results make clear just how much the education currents are churning. Republican states voted down Republican sponsored bills related to imposing stringent evaluation systems on teachers and limiting collective bargaining and other rights, but charter schools generally did well, too. Folks seem to not know which way they're supposed to stand on Common Core; and, in Indiana, voters elected a Democrat to the office of state superintendent over the incumbent Republican--a Republican who has been a supporter of our Democratic president's education initiatives. Dogs and cats, living together...mass hysteria.

But maybe not. Could it be relatively non-partisan consideration of issues and viewpoints? That would be a refreshing switch from the angry hunkering-down that has characterized the last ten years of politics and the last zillion years of education.

Am I being naive? Is it too much to hope that these issues can be talked about outside of our silos? The force of If You Think This You Must Also Think This Sweeping Array Of Other Things is so terribly tiresome and energy-sucking.

On a sort of related note, I am realizing and accept that I must give in and leave behind the term "reform." I must call what I want something else. The term is too loaded. The co-opting has been complete and successful. This is unfortunate. Diane Ravitch is a harsh critic of "reformers" but calls for real ingenuity and creativity. Well, yes, please; that would be awesome. Can I be a part of that? What word shall we use?

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