I'm so excited to announce the launch of a new blog called "Head In the Sand," subtitled "Are Our 'Good' Schools Really Good Enough?" The blog is managed by Tracy Dell'Angela, my brilliant colleague at Education Post, and we aspire to give voice to "the reasonable middle whose voices are rarely heard in education debates around school reform, the common-sense parents and educators who live and work outside of big urban areas. We want the truth about our kids and our schools."
Just months ago I went to their high school graduation parties and summer sendoff celebrations, and now they are coming home again. They are washing out of their four-year colleges and licking their wounds with a few courses at our local community college.
They have lost face, lost money and lost momentum.
This is happening in my hometown, and all over the country, in places you would never suspect. And it seems like no one really wants to talk about why it’s happening, because these kids graduated with good grades from “good schools” in well-funded middle class neighborhoods that love to boast of high college admission rates.
This is why I’m moderating this new blog, Head in the Sand, with its in-your-face title and an earnest plea to reach the reasonable, realistic and riled voices – parents and educators who are drowned out by the caustic debate but nonetheless want something better from the $620 billion investment we are making in our nation’s schools.
Washing out of college is not just a big-city school problem. It is not just a problem for poor kids, or black and brown kids. This is a problem in the suburbs, in the exurbs, in small towns and rural America. This touches single moms, soccer moms, opt-out moms, and yes, the #IHateCommonCore moms too.
I point this out not to draw focus away from the daunting inequities and challenges faced by urban schools and low-income children, because those inequities are profound and unjust.
But we are never going to embrace school improvement as a national priority if we keep thinking the status quo is working just fine for most of America–that school reform is only needed in marginalized communities or in schools where “parents don’t value education.”
Read her whole introductory post here, and please follow and subscribe. Let's get our heads out of the sand!