Sunday, September 5, 2010

Politics, Promises and School Improvement

edited 7/25/18

"If wishes would bide, beggars would ride"
-- John Ray (1670) Collection of English Proverbs

It is easy to make promises about improving schooling; especially, on the campaign trail. However, realities are complex. Talk is said to be cheap; but, only for those who do not have to pay the costs of easy political rhetoric haphazardly implemented.

Educators suffer the tensions of conflicting expectations. They face the frustrations of having to use mandated methods that are seldom highly effective. Suffering insult upon injury, they are offered resources so sparse as to suggest a serious belief in magic.

But there are others, also, for whom talk is not cheap. They are parents and children who are led to expect so much, perhaps too much, from schools begrudgingly supported in their tasks. Their dreams wither, ultimately unsustained by those sloganizers who enjoy the fruits of elective office while avoiding its responsibilities.

But do our political leaders really have that much control? Does the very nature of our democratic pluralism complicate matters?

To examine these issues further, see Politics, Consensus and Educational Reform