Posts filed under: In the Community
In some ways, we have allowed our education system in some ways to sink to a bottomless pit of status quo primarily at the expense of the underserved. As a result, too many children – most in fact, have not been able to inhale the fresh air of the best schools or allow their mental buckets to sink deep into the wells of knowledge.
Over the past 50 years (and maybe longer), we have allowed our education system to persist in mediocrity. Why you ask? Because, we have been afraid to address the single most important asset to our students: teachers.
For years we have been in retreat, but I tell you it’s only through confrontation that we demand the best and most effective teachers in every classroom, and the best leaders in every school and not just a few. Then, and only then, will we be able to hold our students to those same standards of excellence. To convince them that education is not abstract, but indeed figurative; that it is not Intangible, but tangible; and that it is the vehicle that allows us all not just to create a better life for ourselves, but reinforce that such knowledge will be worth more than any other qualification they’ll ever earn.
Sure, we have some great teachers in our classrooms, but some is not enough because the viability of our nation’s student population is at stake.
To say we live in interesting times would be an understatement at Memphis City Schools (MCS) these days. As with all public schools across the state of Tennessee, our district has entered into a year of great challenges and enormous opportunities, all stemming from the increased expectations of teachers and students alike: more rigorous and frequent teacher evaluations, higher testing standards for students, and the introduction of a Common Core curricula that will raise the bar for students’ critical thinking and college/career-readiness skills in unprecedented ways.
Undoubtedly, these demands hold the weight of world to many educators—teachers and administrators alike—in our district and with good reason. Anyone who has watched Memphis morph from the industrial town of International Harvester and Firestone into the shipping, biotechnology and medical hub of today can see how the economic landscape has and will continue to shift over the decades to come. The implications for educational attainment are huge. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of job growth for positions requiring a post-secondary degree will double that of all other positions over the next ten years.