Thursday, June 19, 2008

Great Quote of the Week (Education Division)

"Why do our schools exist? Schools exist so that our teachers can educate our children. School administrators exist to respond to the needs of the schools and the teachers who exist to educate our children. School boards exist to govern, protect and nurture the schools and the teachers that exist to educate our children."
--former Texas state comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, in a Dallas Morning News op-ed column yesterday. She was leading into a discussion of relationships between school board members and companies that have contracts with their school districts (she favors banning such relationships), but her words apply in an everyday sense as well.

Now, this obviously doesn't always play out in reality, does it? Even though "one tough grandma" Strayhorn hits the nail on the head--the purpose of having schools is to teach; the purpose of administrators should be to support teachers in every way possible--too often the administrators end up getting caught up in their own power trips, promoting their own agendas, which often have very little to do with education. This has to change.

So we need to keep up the good fight; sooner or later, someone will have the guts to do what I'm suggesting: Put teachers (not bureaucrats, not politicians) in charge of schools again, and make sure that those who are already in charge become teachers again as well or step aside.

It's refreshing to see that a noted state political figure "gets it;" let's hope that others will follow suit.

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