I did offer a solution a week or so ago. Progression whereby we compare the child to their own previous performance – since we as educators know that comparing a Hokitika child to the magical average child or a mythical standard is complete hogwash.
I don’t use the term hogwash lightly. In fact, the failing education policies of the US and UK which are currently being thrust down our throats (and it’s not really thrust since the NACTional GERManiacs are being very, very, very sneaky with their implementation), other words spring to mind.
Poppycock. Balderdash. Or a good old-fashioned load of old bollocks.
If charter schools turn up in our education system, which I have no doubt they will while the current muppetry rules our set of islands, we may have to do some serious thinking.
If you are any old body who’s never worked in a school you will probably be able to rock up to one of these charter schools and start teaching from day one. You have a lot to offer our children according to John Banks. Never mind that you don’t have the theoretical underpinnings to your pedagogy, or skills in behaviour management, it can’t be that hard standing up in front of a class. And not to worry, you get holidays all the time and hardly ever work anyway.
That’s the impression of teaching a lot of the naysayers who think education is collapsing.
So back to the thinking I’ve been doing… You can treat this charter school nonsense as the nonsense it is, or you could embrace it with the kind of crazy hell-bent enthusiasm they were least expecting.
Finally we get to my solution for this week.
What if all the entire teaching profession of New Zealand got together and set up a vast network of charter schools. We would walk out of our own schools on the last day of this year and walk back into the same buildings at the beginning of Term 1, 2014. Our students would be the same. Our colleagues would be the same. The school building we worked in this year would be the same. Everything would be the same. Exactly the same.
Except for one thing.
We wouldn’t be bound by any of the rules and regulations that currently weigh us down. No Official Information Act. Hardly any ERO or Ombudsman. It would be totally awesome.
We would be free people. FREE!!
Free to teach kids in ways we believe are the best. Work closely with our local school communities to develop and refine our curriculum so they reflect the unique aspects therein. We would be free to hire the best teachers – teachers who were fully registered and experts in their profession with a range of skills and talents that would offer kiwi kids the creativity and inspiration to become life-long learners. Students would conclude their education excited, enthused and fully prepared to enter the 21st century workforce.
And we could call it school.