Raised (as many children of the 80s were) on G.I. Joe, I fully believe that “…knowing is half the battle”. Unfortunately, it is often the overlooked half of the battle. This is why I got involved in the Washington New Millenium Initiative (NMI) in the first place: I knew there were battles being fought over public education, but I didn’t know enough to effectively participate in the fray. Thanks to my involvement with CTQ over this past year I am much better equipped to do so.
When I was approached to participate in TransformEd I was, at first, hesitant. Washington NMI is just getting itself sorted out and we’re coming with all sorts of ambitious ideas for helping teachers to become more knowledgeable about and involved in education policy discussions. Of course, we don’t have much time for putting these grand ideas in motion so, at first, I was reluctant to sign on to anything that would take time away from my Washington NMI work. But eventually I said ‘yes’ to becoming a TransformED blogger for two reasons:
- I have difficulty saying ‘no’. This is a weakness that my principal, local union president, and Jim Meadows at WEA (the guy who got me involved with CTQ in the first place) have all been known to exploit. Luckily, I greatly respect all of them, and anytime they throw something at me it is really cool.
- The more important reason, however, is that I realized it would be the perfect opportunity to build on what I hope is the raison d’être of our Washington NMI: To create opportunities for people with a stake in public education to develop their knowledge on complex education policy issues so that they may effectively participate in the policy-making process.
When it comes to education reform in this country it often seems as if the side with the largest weapons (big names, money, and noise) is able to win the policy fight regardless of whether or not that side can actually demonstrate that its ideas and knowledge are the best. I hope that this blog can do its small part in leveling the balance of power in this battle. And heck, if we can help make it less like a battle and more like an informed policy-making discussion, all the better.
But where do we start? Where should our collective focus go? Or what’s the biggest challenge to you in terms of staying informed or getting involved in policy discussions and decisions?
I look forward to the discussion.