Saturday, October 25, 2008
How much hope do I have left for the "system"? How much do I think it's so totally broken or f#@*ed that it should be dismantled? Good questions. After what seems like an eternity seeing teen lives transformed for better and/or worse by the adults in the ed biz for the best and worst of motives (and all variety of motives in between), I've come to the conclusion that the only thing that matters are the stories, because they are real evidence of real lives. Everything else is irrelevant.
The supervisory suits and the political types focus on data, which can be used, like everything else, to support or to punish. But students, no matter how challenging they may be for the adults who have to work with them, are individuals, not ciphers. Each has a story, and that story is as valid as any quantitative data about grades or test scores. It is my view that until educators learn how to tap, to use, and to value those stories, students will continue to "abandon all hope, ye who enter here."