Stephen Exley reports that two-thirds of school leaders are considering leaving the profession. They cite increasing workloads and poor moral as primary reasons. This report came from TESConnect, a UK organization, and results from 900 respondents in a recent survey.
The specter of low moral among school leaders resonates with anecdotes from public school educators in the United States. Stories of administrative manipulation of grant and state funding, low academic performance scores compared with international peer group competition resulting from conventional teaching methods, masses of students alienated and disaffected by traditional daily life and corporate and governmental processes add up to an image that challenges the optimism and urgency of learning as the core of education.
The practice of educating successive generations of citizens appears in transition and leads to as yet unanswered questions. Does the present corps of educators hold realistic views of their situation in public schools? Do they use appropriate procedures to accelerate, increase, and deepen (AID) learning in their situation? Given the evolving electronic ubiquity of public access to information and learning inside and outside of schools, is the dominant touchy-feely approach to teaching and learning of the last half century adequate to AID learning in the next five years? What percentage of teachers and administrators in the U.S. are considering leaving their public school positions? Should states privatize public education?
Who should decide which answers among these questions will frame public schooling for the next decade or two? Who will benefit most from those answers selected?
These types of questions reside in politics both within and outside of education. Will a forum to address them beyond the, from a learners’ view, benign but loud teachers union, advocacy groups, and electoral politics?