Wednesday, July 10, 2019



Whom Do We Trust

One of the unending underlying challenges in education is that parents and taxpayers have to trust somebody.

Back In The Day, the default was to trust teachers and administrators. That would be back when the default was to trust authority figures as a whole-- but that pendulum has swung far in the other direction (on behalf of all the Boomers, let me just say, "You're welcome"). Heck, even within the more recent past of my own career, a shift has been visible. In my first job (1979-1980) parent-teacher-student conferences often involved a parent absolutely taking my side, even though they didn't know me from a hole in the ground.

The erosion of trust has been widespread and has resulted from a variety of causes, and many of them have been--and continue to be--legit. Some of it is not an actual erosion at all, but simply finally hearing the voices of people who have never had a reason to trust authority. And some of it is the result of baloney, the kind of thing we see when someone explains that a youtube video deserves far more trust than an actual trained medical doctor. And some of it is the result of deliberate attempts to break down trust.

Education has been hit by a trust problem that really kicked off in 1983 with A Nation At Riska work which had as its singular purpose to deliver the message that public education, and the people who work in it, cannot be trusted. "Those folks," it said none-too-subtly, "are no more trustworthy than a hostile foreign power."

For thirty-six years, that drumbeat continued. Teach for America launched with the premise that teachers and the programs that produce them cannot be trusted. Common Core was sold as an CONTINUE READING: