Part of the difficulty in talking to people about the current happenings in education is the scope of the subject. Trying to communicate in just a few minutes the major players, the necessary (and fascinating) historical background, the current shenanigans, and the likely next moves is...um...challenging, to say the least. Unfortunately, the usual reaction is disbelief, anger, frustration, and resignation.
It's as if someone asks, "What stinks?"
"It's the elephant," I reply.
"This one here. Right at the end of your nose."
"I don't see any elephant."
"That's because you're standing too close. Back up a few steps."
"Dang! I knew there was something nearby that was gray, wrinkly, and smelled funny. I just assumed it was grandpa."
Fortunately, here we can take some time to examine this particular critter in the hopes we can find his tender spots and, with some nasty, sharp, pointy sticks, get him off our kids.
To start, I'm just going to, as succinctly as possible, lay out the situation as I've come to know it. In succeeding posts I'll support my premise by sharing with you some of the mountain of evidence that is out there. In time we'll meet the main players and discuss their roles in our children's lives.
If I cover this well, I think it's likely you are going to become daunted by what we are up against. I I know at times I have. To help you through this I will, at every opportunity, point you to allies and resources available on the Web. There is a small (but growing) army of very dedicated parents and educators fighting to restore what has been taken from us in recent years. I think the tipping point in this little rebellion is drawing closer, judging from the growing number of stories I'm seeing in the media.
But now it's bedtime. My little night owl is pestering the dogs when she should be asleep. Despite my desire to continue on with this post, I have a more important responsibility right now. I must go be Dad. I promise I'll take you to see the elephant next time. Until then, refrain from poking grandpa with nasty, sharp, pointy sticks, no matter how funny he smells.