More from Fort Wayne-area teachers on their reactions to Diane Ravitch's Omnibus Lecture this month at IPFW -- from Meg Bloom, a teacher in the Northwest Allen County Schools district:
I was both encouraged and discouraged by last night's event. I was encouraged to be among 1,000 people who care about public education. I was encouraged by the IPFW students who asked insightful questions. I was encouraged by Diane's reminder that the wheel always turns. I am encouraged by the momentum and energy in Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education.
On the other hand, her information is discouraging. What is happening to public education in Indiana and around the US is discouraging. Public education is being sold and someone is making a lot of money at the expense of kids. And it seems as though the public is just sitting and watching it happen .... or even more discouraging, voting for politicians who are doing the selling.
I am discouraged by decision makers who are far removed from children and classrooms and who discount the opinions of those of us who are there. I am discouraged by the unsound emphasis on testing and the incorrect use of this data. Diane pointed out that rule number one in testing is to use a test only for what it was designed....and the further insistence on using tests incorrectly is certainly discouraging. I'm discouraged by what schools are becoming. And I am discouraged that President Obama supports this. I expected better from him.
And now I need to do something else before I get too discouraged! But honestly, when I think of the sincerity of pre-service teachers in the audience, I have to be hopeful. They gave me hope.
Thanks for asking,
(I have taught for Northwest Allen County Schools since 1987. I work with elementary school gifted children. I love my job and am very proud to be associated with the good people at NACS.)