Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A lesson adults need to learn

There is lots of speculation of what is wrong with this country and the world.  In my opinion it's a simple thing.

One of the things we teach kids is to say, "I'm sorry," when they're wrong.  It's a lesson more adults need to learn or, at the very least, remember.

Take, for example, Campbell Brown's crusade against teacher tenure and her dragging the ladies from "The View" into the battle.  Rather than say, "Wow, I hadn't realized I'd been fed misinformation and tenure actually is being a misused term here...." and looking at what is the real problem (the process of dismissing people who are truly bad teachers - and they're out there), it would be one thing.  Instead these folks have become the public face of misinformation and are more worried that they'll look stupid or weak or whatever than accept we make mistakes.

One of the greatest things I teach kids is, "I used to think, now I know."  It is a way to take a misconception out of the personal realm ("Everyone will think I'm stupid...") and into learning ("Oh, I didn't have all the information so now I understand...").

So let me start with this: the Common Core isn't entirely wrong.  Don't misunderstand me, I still believe it to be deeply flawed in its overemphasis of non-fiction texts and gearing towards high-stakes testing (which is a mistake no matter how you look at it), but the way it layers and builds information from one grade to the next is actually pretty logical.  It also lays down a baseline to make sure that it shouldn't matter where you go to school, you are guaranteed to learn science is real and not some mythology that caters to the fantasy that early humans got to play with dinosaurs.

Let me finish with this note to Whoopi Goldberg, Campbell Brown and all those who think teacher tenure is bad and the union needs to be broken:  Unions are not the root of evil.  If so, then I challenge Whoopi to burn her SAG card as an act of resignation.  I certainly hope that Campbell Brown doesn't belong to the National Writers Union.  I ask why you support police, fire, athletic, actors, writers and so many other unions but feel teachers don't have the right to union support?

So you have a choice right now.  You can stand up in public and say, "I used to think.... but after listening to what others have to say and doing a little research (which ALL good journalists should do), I have learned that...."

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