Wednesday, August 13, 2008

5 Things Educational Policy Makers Should Know

I was tagged by Cathy Nelson for this and you can go to her blog to read how she answered this meme. Here is what I think and maybe these are too simplistic but I think these are basic truths that educational policy makers need to be aware of.

1. What you see on the news and what you hear from your staff, may not be what is actually happening in the classroom. These people may have absolutely no experience in the classroom and are basing their opinions on what they may have heard. Visit some classrooms yourself and talk to some teachers to find out what is needed to make our educational system successful. Try to teach a lesson to different classes and that will open your eyes.

2. Recruiting and retaining competent teachers should be a priority. This cannot be determined just by how students score on tests. Talk to teachers and find out what their needs are because it isn’t all about money.

3. Not all students learn the same way and they don’t all fit in the same mold. We cannot teach a one-size-fits-all curriculum if we expect our students to compete with the rest of the world. As long as teachers are expected to meet the goals of this fantasy world, our students are the ones who are getting the short end of the stick.

4. We need to look at school districts that are top heavy in management where the tax dollars are spent more on the top levels than in the classrooms where you would get more bang for your buck. We don’t need to keep raising taxes. We need to use the money more wisely.

5. We need to go back to community schools and stop busing kids all over the district. It worked when it was needed but I think it isn’t needed now. With the price of fuel now, this would also decrease the need for raising taxes to pay for the fuel. If the community is involved in the schools, student discipline problems would decrease and parent involvement would increase because schools are closer to their homes. There would be more school pride in taking care of the facilities and grounds. With the economic conditions, more teachers may want to teach closer to their homes so this would increase parent – teacher interactions which would only benefit the students. This could only be a win-win situation for all.


ProfSeeman said...

You make some good points above.
However, I also think that this can be helpful to you:
Go to:

If you get this book and video: PREVENTING Classroom Discipline Problems, [they are in many libraries, so you don't have to buy them] email me and I can refer you to the sections of the book and the video [that demonstrates the effective vs. the ineffective teacher] that can help you.

[I also teach an online course on these issues that may be helpful to you at: The next class starts on Aug. 18 ]

If you cannot get the book or video, email me and I will try to help.
Best regards,


Howard Seeman, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus,
City Univ. of New York

Prof. Seeman

loonyhiker said...

profseeman: Thank you so much for the links! I will be checking nto this book when I get home (I'm traveling right now) but it really looks like something that would benefit teachers to have on hand!