In Education Policy, Renewal Must Come from Below

I have yet to meet a person of influence in Education policy, on a City, State or National level ( and I have met more than you might think) who wants to empower teachers, students and parents. Many claim they want to help students, but seem unable to imagine doing this without top down initiatives that involve intensive testing, while viewing technology as a “magic bullet” with a power to overcome the wounds of poverty. They also are prone to assign the most benign motives to those who employ extensive financial resources to influence education policy. Because of this, I am convinced that the only hope for public education in the US depends on a revolt of those who LIVE IT EVERY DAY, not those who legislate policies or are assigned responsibility for carrying them out. Even the best intentioned have a paternalistic attitude toward teachers, parents and students, while the worst seek to subject them to a level of control and surveillance that seem more worthy of a totalitarian state or a power hungry corporation rather than a pubic institution that provides preparation for democratic citizenship