There is presently an emphasis on the downside of schools. Many schools are considered failing, and more and more teachers and administrators are claiming frustration with bureaucratic expectations, kids who dont seem interested in learning, andMoreThere is presently an emphasis on the downside of schools. Many schools are considered failing, and more and more teachers and administrators are claiming frustration with bureaucratic expectations, kids who dont seem interested in learning, and parents that are disengaged from their childrens school experiences.
Community members are tired of not getting the results they feel they should get from the educational system-and their tax dollars-especially in terms of the quality of the graduating classes. In addition, the word accountability is being linked with the idea that failing students are solely the result of failing teachers and failing schools. What is missing in the public conversation about schools and those who teach is the reality that even in schools considered failing, even in schools that are physically falling apart, even in schools where kids and their families struggle just to survive-wonderful and exciting things are happening.
They are also happening in private schools, charter schools and schools in communities where there is the financial support required to offer a range of educational opportunities to students. The problem is that these wonderful things are often kept within the school or community and not shared with a larger public.
We are not fruitfully sharing those touches of educational excellence with other teachers, school districts, and schools. It is important that these wonderful and exciting things be shared so that the public conversation can shift to looking at what does not work to what can work. The teachers noted in this book are examples of professionals still with passion, creativity and the desire and commitment to be an educator that addresses issues of democracy and social justice in their classrooms.