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Opinion: Unify Teachers and Reformers for Greater Good of Education

Opinion: Unify Teachers and Reformers for Greater Good of Education

It's no secret that teachers and reformers are frequently in disagreement, as evident by this year's growing "opt-out" movement. But is acknowledging differences and agreeing to work together possible in order to truly help America's education system?

One journalist envisions a series of steps that teachers and reformers need to take in order work together.

Frederick M. Hess' first suggestion is that teachers and reformers help each other squash the loud, extreme voices on each side of the debate that twist the issue at hand.

"The problem is that the loudest voices are the most extreme, while the more measured voices remain silent or get drowned out. Both educators and reformers need to do a better job of challenging, calling out, or reining in those who revel in accusations of malice," he said, according to U.S. News.

Further, he calls both teachers and reformers to understand the other by accepting certain truths.

For teachers, he wants them to " keep in mind that they’re public employees. When outspoken teachers impute evil motives to reformers or discount the importance of test results, it can appear that educators are blind to the problems and unwilling to step up," according to the article.

And for reformers, "reformers need to remember that they’re not the ones who do the work. After all, policymakers can make people do things, but they can't make them do them well. Unfortunately, when it comes to schooling, how reforms are adopted matters infinitely more than whether they are."

Hess argues that instead of picking a side and championing one over the other, both sides should let go of certain qualms in order to work together for the greater good.

"Mustering the discipline and mutual respect to do this should be an eminently manageable task. After all, as we frequently remind one another, these are our schools and our nation’s children."

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

4/16/2015

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