Monthly Archives: February 2017

Don’t Be Afraid of Betsy DeVos

From Our Executive Director, Jacqueline Hicks (February 2017 Newsletter):

Consider:

  • Much has been wrong about our education system, long before DeVos became our Secretary of Education.
  • Less than 10% of the money for public education comes from the federal government.
  • Best to focus on what WE ALL can do to make our local schools great.
  • Start by looking at what teachers, parents, and students know works and do that.
  • Think global and act local – start with your local school board and your school’s PTA.

My time as an education reformer began in 1997 with California’s Charter School Movement well underway. As a parent of a very unhappy 7th grader, my husband and I had to face the fact that our local public school was not meeting our needs or those of our young son. My husband with his lifetime California teaching credential had a very good idea of what makes a classroom a quality learning environment. Fortunately, we found a new, innovative, charter middle school that fit us to a T. I became a very involved parent and I learned what best practices, small class size, project based learning, field work, portfolios, understanding learning style differences, and integrating subjects around a yearlong theme could do for my son’s happiness and success in school.

Taking what I was learning at the charter school and combining it with my knowledge of and experience with the Person-Centered Approach (gained largely at the Center for Studies of the Person founded by Dr. Carl R. Rogers and colleagues), I developed a leadership curriculum for middle and high school students. I then went on to start, with my friend and partner Linda Reed, Cortez Hill Academy charter middle and high school. Our foundation […]

By | February 16th, 2017|Education, PCA, Teacher|3 Comments

A Teacher’s Point of View on the Current State of Education

Education Transformations received the following in an email from a teacher who found us online.  We thought it was so interesting, we got permission to share it.  We’d love to hear your perspective – do you agree, disagree, or how did this strike you?

I am Marco Franco, a fifty-nine year old high school teacher in Laredo, Texas, and I am planning to apply Carl Rogers’ Student Center Teaching, as well as his Humanistic Education theories, in my classroom throughout the Spring Semester, which begins [in January 2017].

For the past twelve years, I have been teaching English, ESL, Oral Interpretation, Practical Writing and mentoring college composition classes. Also, I made a brief stint facilitating leadership and team dynamics workshops at the local community college.

Nowadays the educational system is in crisis and rapidly deteriorating. When we learn about it in the newspaper or through the TV news, it just becomes another short-lived news clip to be buried again by tomorrow’s newest news. Witnessing the failure of the educational system day after day in the classroom, and going home knowing that we, teachers, cannot improve it becomes a daily frustration.

True teachers do teach despite all hindrances, while many others end up conforming to the state of affairs, resigning, or just teaching to the test. However, the elephant is in the room.

The gap between the academic curricula and the student population is widening every year. On one side we have the state education agencies enforcing End Of Course Tests (EOCs), assessing and ranking school districts according to their test performances, and complete school districts teaching to the test to get the coveted “Exemplary” status and more federal money.

On the other side, there is the student population emerging from dysfunctional […]

By | February 15th, 2017|Education, Empathy, PCA, Teacher|0 Comments