Bill Gates is Listening to Teachers on Evaluations

ImageYesterday, Bill Gates published a piece in the Washington Post titled, Bill Gates:  A fairer way to evaluate teachers.  Skeptically, I clicked the link.  I wasn’t sure if I would read the typical education reform buzz words with little depth to the issue or if he would actually move the debate forward.  Sure, the title infers that he wants us to fairly evaluate teachers, but in this chapter of education reform, teachers and former teachers like myself, have come to brace ourselves for people who are in the spotlight, but who misguided in their solutions.

However, to my surprise, Bill Gates made it clear that he’s been listening to teachers or at least he now wants to not only listen, but seriously take the suggestions of teachers and put them on table. Below are some of the concerns he brought up:

1.  Data gone wild:  States are rushing to develop standardized tests for any and everything without giving much thought to whether that’s even the best way to assess that particular subject. 

One glaring example is the rush to develop new assessments in grades and subjects not currently covered by state tests. Some states and districts are talking about developing tests for all subjects, including choir and gym, just so they have something to measure. – Bill Gates

2.  Teaching Purposefully:  Just how do the yearly standardized tests help teachers improve their practice?  Currently, teachers are unable to analyze standardized test data to look for student trends.  If teachers were able to receive data on which objectives where students scored poorly, teachers would know how to problem-solve around it and plan purposefully for that unit for the next school year.  Also, if teachers received data on which objectives students performed well, they would know that that unit and lesson plans were an effective way to teach those standards.

Even in subjects where the assessments have been validated, such as literacy and math, test scores don’t show a teacher areas in which they need to improve. – Bill Gates

3.  Myth Busting:  Contrary to what many people outside the profession may think, teachers want to be evaluated.  However, like Gates is emphasizing, teachers want to be evaluated fairly using multiple measures–not student performance at one point of the year on one standardized test.  They deserve to see their professional growth throughout the school year and over many years of teaching.

The fact is, teachers want to be accountable to their students. What the country needs are thoughtfully developed teacher evaluation systems that include multiple measures of performance, such as student surveys, classroom observations by experienced colleagues and student test results.  – Bill Gates

4.  Teachers aren’t in it for the money.  I know plenty of teachers who seek out teaching positions in low-income communities because they know there’s a need for high-quality teachers in those schools.  However, when teachers decide to teach in a high-need school, districts and schools need to ensure that those schools have a strong curriculum, on-going and tailored professional development, and transformative leadership.  Now once at the school, it’s up to the teachers and staff to build and maintain a strong culture.

Teachers also tell me that while compensation is important, so are factors such as high-quality professional development opportunities, a strong school leader, engaged families and the chance to work with like-minded colleagues.

5.  A Path to School Leadership:  We need to rethink the teacher career ladder.  There are many schools that are beginning to shift focus on ways to keep teachers in the classroom while also giving them opportunities to lead in various areas such as school culture, professional development, and student enrichment.

In top-performing education systems in other parts of the world, such as Singapore and Shanghai, accomplished teachers earn more by taking on additional responsibilities such as coaching and mentoring other teachers and helping to capture and spread effective teaching techniques. Such systems are a way to attract, retain and reward the best teachers; make great use of their skills; and honor the collaborative nature of work in schools.  -Bill Gates

It’s refreshing to read Bill Gates thoughts, but these are the same things that teachers have said for years.  Read the education blogs, check out different ed chats on twitter, go sit down with teachers in the school lounge and you’ll see that these views are brought up time and time again.  The real questions is, “Will these concerns make it into policy?” Only time will tell.

Read the rest of Bill Gates piece here.

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Many of My Friends Didn’t Attend College

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My high school has the lowest college-going rate in rural Cumberland County, N.J. This is the same rank the school had when I graduated in 2004 and it’s the same rank it has now. So when I read a recent post on Education Week by Sarah Sparks titled, “Why Do Academically Promising Students Not Choose College?” I was immediately reminded of my high school. Many of my capable peers did not attend college or some enrolled in less prestigious institutions for a variety of reasons. Nevertheless, the reason I work in the field of education is because I’ve always believed in my peers and in students who attend schools like the ones in my hometown. I know that their life’s outcomes do not need to continue a path of poverty. With community and school supports, they can stop the cycle of poverty and put their family on the path to achieving the America Dream.

Sarah’s piece highlights a recent Harvard Study that reveals sheds light on the reality for students attending high schools like the one on my hometown. Many of them could go to college, but instead choose not to. Here’s what she had to say:

[Researchers from Harvard’s Center on Education Policy] found that, of students who showed academic potential;as judged by their cumulative high school GPAs and math and verbal SAT scores—18 percent enrolled in less-selective four-year colleges, two-year institutions or no higher education at all. Moreover, students who chose less-selective colleges were less likely to continue through to earn a diploma.

“These are people who are clearly poised for success and are not clearly moving into it,” said John Fullerton CEPR’s executive director. “That could be because some high schools are not preparing academically kids who were high performing, and so they slip back during high school, or others might not provide the support for students” such as college selection and financial aid guidance needed to plan which college to attend, he said.

“This is particularly true of kids from lower economic backgrounds. Going to a college just because it’s local or cheap may not be the best decision, because if you are more likely to drift away and drop out, that will have long-term economic consequences,” Mr. Fullerton said.

Mr. Fullerton was spot on in describing many of my peers experiences. Sure, I was bright in high school, but so were many of them. There’s no reason why some of them did not go straight from high school and into four year colleges. We sat in the same honors classes or some chose to take a less challenging route and enroll in college prep because they were not pushed to excel to their fullest potential. Their ability to achieve mirrored mine, but our life’s took us down two different paths.

My friends and I would discuss college in high school. Once a month, a few of attended Talent Search–a partnership with the local Community College that exposed us to college. We were excused from class for an hour and our Talent Search Coordinator would teach us about the application process and taking the SAT. During Spring Break, those of us who could afford it, went on a trip to college tours. For many of us, Talent Search was our ticket out of Cumberland County. I will never forget when I had the chance to go to California the first time. It was part of Talent Search’s Spring Break trip to tour University of Southern California in Los Angeles and other schools. Yet, for many, Talent Search was not enough to sway the hold their environment and family circumstances had in shaping their life’s path.

I knew, and I wholeheartedly believe they knew they were more than capable. However, it was difficult to crack their tough exterior and help them believe that attending college was their doorway to success. By the end of our four years, many of my friends and peers did not go on to college or some went to the local county college, dropped out, or re-enrolled and graduated many years later. Like Mr. Fullerton said, some of my peers didn’t have the proper guidance to navigate the application and matriculation process. If no one in your family has gone to college, and it’s not the norm for students to go to college in your hometown or high school, applying to college can be frightening. I am lucky to have a father who is a guidance counselor by profession at a school in the neighboring town who could support me in the process. My peers, although intelligent, did not have that support.

Moreover, some didn’t believe they had the financial means to go to college. Again, I had a father who knew FAFSA like the back of his hand. He could also help me apply for scholarships. I will never forget during my senior year, I would spend hours at the computer writing scholarships essays and preparing these unique scholarship packages with all of my accomplishments. During my senior year, I decided I wanted to attend the University of Maryland, and my dad informed me that since it was out-of-state, I would have to work really hard to pay for it. I ended up receiving 18 scholarships, two of which were four year and the rest were enough to pay for my entire first year of college. I was fortunate to have my dad to make a sometimes overwhelming process for a high schooler be one that was paved with love. For my peers who did not come from that family background, trying to figure out how to apply and then how to pay for college was a daunting task.

Nevertheless, a child’s family’s background or economic status should not determine the life they envision for themselves. That’s why I would take it a step beyond Mr. Fullerton’s reasons of lack of knowledge of the application process and financial aid, and also assert that tracking done in high school and the high school’s college-going culture both play a significant role in a young person’s decision to attend college or the colleges that make it on a student’s college short list.

In my high school, students were put on different tracks. Each year, we selected classes that were either on the honors, college preparatory, or general education track. Although, my high school has a low college-going rate, the number of students who were on the honors track who attended college was quite high. Since our freshman year, we were supported and guided on the track to college. My friends who attended these classes with me are now successful in various sectors. One of my friends is a journalist, another recently graduated law school and working in the legal department of a Fortune 500 company, another is a high school guidance counselor, and another is on her way to graduating with her Masters in Social Work. I wonder just how many high school students are missing out on the chance to go to college because they’re tracked in high school?

There are a lot of out-of-school factors that sway many students’ decision to attend college. Nevertheless, there is much that schools can do to put more students on the right path. I believe that if my high school really invested more students outside of the honors track in going to college from the ninth grade, and put in comprehensive supports to help more students apply and matriculate into college, the college-going rate of my high school would be much higher.

What do you think? Do you think high schools, specifically that serve students from low-income neighborhoods, do enough to push students who walk the tight rope of achievement and mediocrity? What is your high school doing to create a college-going culture?

Let me know your thoughts and be sure to read more of Sarah’s piece in Education Week.

Can Our Children Have It All? The Case for Diverse Schools

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Heather Harding and I approach the education reform movement using a similar lens: as parents. Sure, you’re probably thinking, “Darla, you don’t have kids. How can you view education through a parent’s eyes?” Well, first of all, I view my students as my children. When I contemplate just what solutions I support to create better schools, I think of the type of learning environment I want for my own children. Each education policy decision created now has a direct impact on the learning experiences of my future kids. So when I read Heather Harding’s piece posted on Teach For America’s Pass the Chalk Blog, I immediately could relate with her sentiments.

Heather wants her children to attend diverse schools that prepare them for a global world. Like Heather, we are not satisfied with schools that mostly educate low-income black and Latino youth. In our ideal world, our children would attend schools with children from varying socioeconomic levels and diverse backgrounds. However, we realize that accepting schools as segregated now–even if they are high-performing–is not the way to give our kids the best education.

In Heather’s piece, “Breaking Down the Persistence of Segregated Schools,” she calls out the elephant in the room of all education reform conversations. She forces us to have the difficult conversation about how important diversity, in many aspects, is an important part of the learning experience, and how so many people are sweeping it under the rug.

Every time I see a story about high-performing urban charter schools where 98% of the kids are black or Latino, I get queasy. I worry that while the academics at these schools are superior to their peer schools, they lack what most middle-class parents want in an education—world-class academics in an environment that provides the social capital necessary to be successful in an ever-more-diverse world.

When we relegate some kids to a singular racial and cultural experience but extol the virtues of our growing global society, we are decidedly not closing the achievement gap. As a parent who enthusiastically embraces school choice, I cannot accept that common response to calls for racial desegregation in our urban charter schools: “Well, should I turn these poor kids of color away in favor of non-poor white kids?” My answer is likely to be “Maybe.” I want it all: quality education and diversity. This is the only recipe for true excellence. We shouldn’t settle for less.

Is Heather asking for too much? I don’t think so. I’m glad someone is courageous enough to bring it up. How about you?

Read more of Heather’s piecehttp://www.teachforamerica.org/m/blog/breaking-down-persistence-segregated-schools.

Richard Rothstein Challenges Joel Klein’s School Reform Autobiography

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I’m home in New Jersey visiting my family. Each time I come home, my mind seems to reflect on how my family has supported me each step of the way in my life’s journey. As a critical thinker, I always compare and contrast my life to this point to others in my hometown–a town crippled by poverty. Unlike many of my peers growing up, I have a father who was a first generation college student. It is this, along with other fortunate life situations that I was born into, that has great influence of my present level of success.

This morning, I read a piece by Richard Rothstein titled, “Why Education Reform may be Doomed.” I believe his entire piece pushes us all to reflect on how our level of individual privilege and social capital impacts our life’s outcomes.

Rothstein, born with similar privilege of Klein, argues that Klein misrepresents his family’s economic situation in the name of pushing his type of education reform: one that believes that poverty is not destiny. That he was able to overcome poverty by the hand of a teacher. Therefore, teachers can singlehandedly life children out of poverty. I will post my response to his piece next week.

Here is an excerpt:

Children like Klein and me were privileged, not perhaps in money but in what sociologists term “social capital.” Nobody I know of from my special-progress class dropped out of school; my fellow students typically went on to become college professors, doctors, business executives, accountants, writers, and lawyers. Sure, we loved to play street stickball, but we were not “kids from the streets,” as Klein would have it. We were surrounded by peers with middle-class ambitions and goals.

It would be obscene for me to claim I overcame severe hardship and was rescued from deprivation by schoolteachers. It is more obscene for Klein to do so, because his claim supports attacks on contemporary teachers and a refusal to acknowledge impediments teachers face because of their students’ social and economic deprivation. It’s a deprivation that he never suffered but that many children from public housing do today.

A few superhuman teachers may lift a handful of children who come to school from barely literate homes, hungry, in poor health, and otherwise unprepared for academic instruction. But even the best teachers face impossible tasks when confronted with classrooms filled with truly disadvantaged students who are not in tracked special-progress classes and don’t arrive each morning from families as academically supportive as mine. Instead, they may come from segregated communities where concentrated and entrenched poverty, unemployment, and social alienation over many generations have been ravaging.

The rest of Rothstein’s piece can be read at Salon.. I do encourage you to read it and post your thoughts. As you’re reading, I want you to take a hard look inside and ask yourself just how did you get to where you are today?

Elevating the “No Excuses” Debate

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Some aspects of public education are in a battle: standardized testing, teacher evaluation, school choice, common core, class size, and more. Every solution is up for a great debate on Twitter, in the editorial section of newspapers, and blogs from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles, C.A. and everywhere in between. Yet, as these battles take place, I’m worried that the best solutions are not making it to the table. Both sides are publicly seen as arrogant and unwilling to compromise, and this is hurting our kids.

The latest debate at the forefront is “no excuses” as a method to change school culture. Opponents of this school culture model claim that the no excuses approach ignores poverty’s stranglehold on schools. Supporters of this model argue that students need to be taught to stop making excuses for their level of academic achievement by working hard, being nice and going to college. Somewhere in the middle is where the answer lies. Yet, again the public conversation is creating another polarizing argument that halts progress.

Here’s my take:
Opponents of No Excuses: Yes, poverty is the root cause of the problems ailing our nation’s most struggling schools and communities. Yes, districts must provide schools with the basic wraparound services to provide an excellent education for our children. Nevertheless, I’m afraid what’s missing from your public stance is the acknowledgement that school culture must change in many of our schools.

No excuses is not an approach to combat poverty. It is an attempt to create a positive school culture. If you do not agree with this approach to creating a positive school culture, you must then give solutions about how to create one. By simply saying, “No excuses ignores poverty,” you lose a great opportunity to push the school culture debate further.

We can push the school culture debate further by discussing the following:
1. What is the vision of your school?
2. Does your current school culture support your vision of creating a college-going culture?
3. If not, how do we create a college culture in our schools that are not graduating students who go on to college in high numbers?
4. What mindsets do children need to succeed?
5. What does this look like on a whole- school level? Classroom level?
6. As a staff, what will we do to drastically improve our school culture so that are students expect to go to college?
7. What is holding your school back from creating a positive learning environment? Does your school have a whole-school behavior and incentive system? How are you improving attendance? How are you decreasing suspensions?
8. If your school does have an amazing school culture, share it, tweet it, blog about it. What are you doing to share your school’s best practices?

Supporters of No Excuses
Yes, schools must take daring moves to create learning environments that raise expectations and push students to believe college is their route to success in places where going to college is not the norm. Yes, school districts and school leaders have the power to create schools as safe havens that equip our students with the tools they need to beat the odds in their dilapidated neighborhoods. Yes, many schools do a poor job of creating positive learning environments for children.

Nevertheless, what’s missing in your argument is the reality that it’s not just college banners donning the hallways, college chants echoing from classrooms, or demerit systems that create school culture. Wraparound services, low student to teacher ratios, positive working environments that provide teacher leadership and professional development are also important pieces that work in synchronization to provide our students with the best conditions to achieve at high levels.

We need to push the school culture debate further by answering the following:
1. What is your definition of the “no excuses” approach?
2. How did you come up with this approach as the most effective way to change a school’s culture?
3. What does this model look like at the school level? Classroom level?
4. What are the misconceptions of this approach?
5. What are the areas of improvement for the “no excuse” model?
6. How do you create buy-in of this model from staff, students and families?
7. What happens when children challenge this model?
8. What are your student attendance and suspension rates? Have you seen increased attendance and deceased suspensions with this model? If not, what are you doing to improve? If so, what best practices can you share?

Let’s all agree to take this debate to the next level. The real work is the action happening in classrooms and schools. We all agree that for far too long we’ve allowed the children living in our nation’s most impoverished neighborhoods to attend schools that have not produced enough students attending college. Although, poverty continues to plague our neighborhoods, and we may not be able to control all the outside factors, we can definitely control what our schools look and feel like once a child enters the doors. Let’s discuss concrete solutions that schools can implement in their classrooms to create a school culture where students expect to attend college. Then put them into action. I’m ready to work!

The Best Chicago Strike Op-Ed!

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Tonight, as I sifted through tweets checking for articles on the Chicago Teachers Union, I found a gem. In my opinion, the best Chicago Teachers Union Strike op-Ed by far. Posted in The New York Times, the author Alex Kotlowitz asked a serious question, “Are We Asking Too Much of Teachers?” This is a question I asked myself earlier this year as I made the difficult choice to leave the classroom.

Fueled by my passion to create better schools for all public school students, I started teaching giving it 100%, even when that meant putting my life on hold as I struggled to manage the individual life circumstances of each of my students. You see, I never intended to be a career teacher. Being a teacher was just my first step in a lifelong journey to help bring innovative solutions to the most ailing problems facing our nation’s most poverty-stricken communities. I hope to one day be at the table where major decisions are made to benefit our
students. I believe that teacher voice is critical at that table.

Moreover, as my teaching days went on and years passed, writing objective-driven lesson plans aligned to standards every day wasn’t all that would deem me effective under DC Public School’s IMPACT evaluation system. I had to create Girls and Boys Day to introduce my scholars to positive mentors that look like them and had gone to college. I did home visits to build relationships with parents. I brought volunteers into the school to help get it ready for the first day of school. I wrote Donors Choose grants to get more resources into my classroom. I did everything in my human power to try to circumvent poverty’s impact on my classroom.

Nevertheless, late nights and early mornings entering student data in a computer taught me (the hard way) what I knew all along from growing up in an poverty-stricken city in southern NJ–just being an effective teacher alone cannot solve poverty, and I could not stress myself out about it. Because stressing myself out about my some of my students living in homeless shelters, not having food on the table or proper clothes to wear will break a person down–especially a teacher who comes to school every day garnering all hope possible to challenge this reality head on.

Now do not get me wrong. I agree that teachers must teach the best they can while knowing that we’re working against negative neighborhood environments that can suck our children into a tornado of negative choices that limit their life’s positive outcomes. I know that great teachers in every classroom will ensure that a student can be strong enough to believe in their future more than the dark reality that they live. I know that great teachers make a difference, but what Mr. Kotlowitz sheds light on is that teachers alone cannot rid our country of poverty. Putting so much pressure on schools does not serve our children or communities. Schools must also be supported by economic policies at the local, state and federal levels that create more sustainable and socioeconomically diverse neighborhoods that produce more equitable schools.

While so many people have the luxury of never stepping foot in an impoverished community, teachers in our most troubled schools don’t. It’s easy to be on Capital Hill and never come to Southeast DC, but make sweeping generalizations about all the teachers who work in the “failing” schools. It’s easy to work in Chicago Public Schools’ Central Office and never fully empathize with a student who asks you every day to see his incarcerated father, but you have to tell him it’s okay and help him stay focused on the lesson. When we dare teachers to be on the frontlines, having the audacity to fight poverty in they see and feel, we better have their backs every step along the way.

More than likely, Chicago won’t be the answer to Mr. Kotlowitz’s question–just like schools alone cannot heal our nation from wound of poverty. However, when we bring thoughtful dialogue and perspective in the conversation, we allow a better product to be produced. Here’s to a quick end to the strike, but to continued conversation. Thank you for Chicago for sparking the dialogue. We can either use this as a time to point fingers or to really begin to ask the tough questions that help us create systemic solutions.

Mr. Kotlowitz, I applaud you for bringing depth to the conversation. To read his piece that inspired my post click here

Systemic Change: The Secret to Success

Thanks to the Google.  I can connect with my friends on Gchat.  One of my friends recently shared an article in her status, that I just had to click.  It was Paul Tough’s recent piece published in the New York Times, What if the Secret to Success is Failure?  In this piece, Tough highlights two different schools on two different sides of the track that come to one conclusion:  character building is just as important as teaching academics.

Below is a highlight from the piece:

As Levin watched the progress of those KIPP alumni, he noticed something curious: the students who persisted in college were not necessarily the ones who had excelled academically at KIPP; they were the ones with exceptional character strengths, like optimism and persistence and social intelligence. They were the ones who were able to recover from a bad grade and resolve to do better next time; to bounce back from a fight with their parents; to resist the urge to go out to the movies and stay home and study instead; to persuade professors to give them extra help after class. Those skills weren’t enough on their own to earn students a B.A., Levin knew. But for young people without the benefit of a lot of family resources, without the kind of safety net that their wealthier peers enjoyed, they seemed an indispensable part of making it to graduation day.

What appealed to Levin about the list of character strengths that Seligman and Peterson compiled was that it was presented not as a finger-wagging guilt trip about good values and appropriate behavior but as a recipe for a successful and happy life. He was wary of the idea that KIPP’s aim was to instill in its students “middle-class values,” as though well-off kids had some depth of character that low-income students lacked. “The thing that I think is great about the character-strength approach,” he told me, “is it is fundamentally devoid of value judgment.”

It is this type of thinking that will fundamentally change the way we educate students in America.   It forces educators to think beyond the test and build students into critical thinkers and real world problem-solvers.  Continue to read more of this enlightening and forward thinking article over at the New York Times website.

Systemic Change: Study dismisses poverty, but try telling that to the poor

Washington Post’s Courtland Milloy is spot on when he blasts the Heritage Foundation and their portrayal of America’s poor.  Here’s an excerpt:

By the researchers’ reckoning, we probably shouldn’t be too alarmed by the Census Bureau’s announcement Tuesday that thenation’s poverty rate rose from 14.3 percent in 2009 to 15.1 in 2010. And we probably shouldn’t fret that there are now more Americans living in poverty — 46.2 million — than at any other time in the past half-century.

Just numbers, they wrote dismissively of such poverty data. What the Census Bureau omits, they contended, is an accounting of the benefits that the poor receive from the “welfare state.” From what the government defines as poverty — for instance, a family of four with a household income of about $22,000 a year — a picture emerges of people who might well be regarded as rich anywhere else in the world.

I’m glad to hear so many people beginning to speak out against our nation’s dismal poverty rate.  Just because we can prove that their are exceptions who can escape poverty and be successful, does not mean that we stop fighting to end poverty.  Read more of Courtland Milloy’s piece here.

Systemic Change: Public education’s biggest problem gets worse

As part of my Systemic Change category, I’ve found yet another article that sheds light on poverty’s impact on school reform.  Valerie Strauss, from the Washington Post, recently published Public education’s biggest problem gets worse.  In her piece, she underscores that we cannot truly fix schools without also addressing our nation’s poverty crisis.  Here’s an excerpt from the piece:

But we need to face facts: Problems in schools would remain even if every teacher were magnificent (show me a profession where that is true about every practioner) because teachers are obviously enormously important, but they are not the only factor that goes into how well children succeed.

The current direction of school reform is making it even harder to fix broken schools and improve the ones that do well even if they suffer from 20th century design and resources.

Making teachers entirely responsible for a student’s academic progress — regardless of whether the child eats enough or sleeps enough or gets enough medical attention — is counterproductive. Pretending that these issues can be “factored out” in some kind of mathematical formula that can assess how much “value” a teacher has added to a student’s progress is near nutty. That’s not just me saying it. Leading mathematicians say it too.

The effects of poverty on children matter in regard to student achievement. That is not to say that efforts to improve teacher quality, modernize curriculum, infuse technology into the classroom where it makes sense and other reforms should not be pursued. But doing all of that while ignoring the conditions in which kids live is a big waste of time.

Read more of the op-ed at the Washington Post online by clicking here.

Dr. Steve Perry is No Nonsense about Educating Our Youth

My friend and fellow University of Maryland alumnus, Joi Marie McKenzie, had the opportunity sit down the Dr. Steve Perry.  She asked him some great questions, including one I submitted.  Below is the question and response:

Loop 21: What role do you feel educators have in advocating for policies or programs that help to eradicate poverty?

Dr. Perry: I believe educators are professionally obligated to ensure that they, with all do haste, work for the betterment of children beyond just coming to work and teach somebody how to add. They must advocate for programs and policies that will enrich these children lives that means that if they see a policy that will provide a free reduced lunch for children, they have to support that. If they see a policy that will close failed schools, they have to support that. If they see a policy that will allow children to have choice, as opposed to the current system where the parent has to move the family or a parent has to win the lottery whether it be the economic lottery or the lottery of getting into a good school, then they have to support that. If teachers are truly to fulfill their obligation and represent the calling that is ours, then they have to advocate even when advocacy could lead to the loss of their own job.

What are your thoughts on what Dr. Steve Perry said?

Check out Joi’s entire interview at The Loop 21.