I was writing this portion of my post earlier today, then ironically came across this video which connects much of my viewpoints that follow.
My takeaways from the educational field
Belief: Teacher recruiting programs are bringing real-world professionals to the education field and having a positive impact on students.
Fact: These teachers quickly leave the education field due to lack of quality professional development/support and continual budget cuts.
Hope: Teachers will take pay cuts, supply cuts, cuts in benefits, and cuts in public support and remain in what should be one of the most respected jobs in the world.
Fact: Qualified teachers are leaving the profession
Fact: Substitute teachers pay is being cut - My Westchester District cuts
Fact: Tutoring is one of the largest growing industries because of parents' declining trust in our education system.
"Tutoring is a $4 billion business, and that figure is rising. It has become a staple of the middle class, with millions of students in both public and private schools using one-on-one tutors as well as supplementary education centers like Kaplan, Princeton Review, and Kumon. Once an upper-class phenomenon, tutoring is now becoming so pervasive it is arguably changing the face of American education. While competitive pressures have never been greater for students, many educators say the change is also due to the No Child Left Behind law. The law, which requires schools identified as failing to provide tutoring, has proved to be a boon to the tutoring industry." (NPR.org)
Fact: Teachers are doing more work than ever to sustain students' interest and counteract the standardized test movement. The battle to cohesively merge differentiation and data driven standardized instruction is priority for teachers to have success and have administrative approval.
Goal: to prepare "each and every student for higher education and success in the 21st century".
Reality: each and every student is falling further and further behind the raised bar of expectations set globally.
"American students made modest gains in science and math, but still lag significantly behind their counterparts around the world...American students scored below the OECD average of 496. The countries outperforming the US include Finland – perennially a top-shower on PISA, along with Korea – Belgium, Estonia, Iceland,France, and the Slovak Republic, among others. US students scored higher than those in just five OECD countries: Greece, Israel, Turkey, Chile, and Mexico." (CSMonitor.com)
For the sake of our economic future, education desperately needs to be a larger part of the presidential debate and and beyond until the reality and facts match the hopes and dreams.