- Abbott Elementary: Development Week was a Mess! - September 28, 2022
- Frederick Douglass: “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” - July 4, 2021
- President Biden Pushes For Teachers To Get Their COVID Vaccine Dose By March - March 2, 2021
- We’re Just People Who Don’t Want To Be Killed! A Student Reflection About Insurrection - January 26, 2021
- Betsy DeVos Resigns: Most Teachers Say Good Riddance - January 8, 2021
- Class Divide in Emergency Learning: A Crisis Overseas - September 10, 2020
- Practicing Self-Care in the Midst of Chaos - August 31, 2020
- Do the Work: Equity Symposium for Teachers - August 23, 2020
- Universities Collaborate on the Biggest Experiment in Higher Ed: Reopening - August 3, 2020
- The Day of Teacher Self-Care is Happening August 1, 2020 - July 21, 2020
This morning I opened my Twitter account to catch up on all of the education news across the country when in the middle of my computer screen I saw this tweet from NPR's Lead Education Blogger, Anya Kamenetz.
The first time I read it, I thought I had misread it, but after looking at all the tweets there after I realized that while Ms. Kamenetz definitely made a faux pax, she actually brought further to light an issue that I continually see as education reform continues to become a 'hot button' issue, the lack of diverse voices when discussing issues in education.
The lack of diversity in reporting what was occurring in public education across the country, was one of the reasons I decided to start The Educator's Room. In 2012, I was online one night searching for bloggers who discussed issues in education. I searched and searched and searched and almost all of the 'experts' in education ALL had one thing in common- they had never taught in a public school..ever.
If you don't believe me, think about this. One of the most influential people in education right now is Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft. While he may have the money to influence policies in education he fits into three of the categories above. So while he may have some great research, I can't respect that he really understands what it's like to work in an inner city school where 53% of the students don't graduate with their cohort and the other 47% are dealing with issues that quite frankly are so challenging that he can't even begin to imagine what it's like to be them.
If we went to the other side of the field we can look at someone like Diane Ravitch, who by all means is the historian on issues in public education. She's been the Assistant Secretary of Education and Counselor to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander and she has worked countless hours on behalf of empowering teachers. Many regard her to be the best teacher advocate that's been recognized by the mainstream media; however, there's still one important fact that we overlook- t she has never been a classroom teacher- an education professor yes, but not a public school teacher.
My point exactly. The premise of starting this site was to 'beat into the heads' of education reformers that the experts in education are classroom teachers. Period. Point. Blank.
In such a diverse field like education it has been a disappointment that there aren't more women, people of color and other diversities reporting on what is happening in classrooms in America. I mean how can we preach to our students that diversity is important when we're not willing to see the issues that plague our own profession?
While Ms. Katz apologized for her misguided tweets, I think her tweet is something that we all need to think about as we continue to write about issues in education. Instead of looking for experts in their nice offices in suit and ties, the REAL experts in education are teachers who fight the 'battle' at least 180 days per school year. So the next time Ms. Katz is looking for a source, please consider going to your local school in Brooklyn (or in any public school around the world) and ask teachers.
We are the experts. We are teachers. We are diverse.
To read some of the comments on Ms. Katz's article look below.