February 2nd:  an all-too-rare chance for CLASSROOM TEACHERS to be heard on nationwide radio about the real problems with today’s education!  Please join us!

Education of today’s children is a disaster – with SAT and ACT reporting only one-quarter of those taking their tests are ready for college, with 48% of new teachers quitting the profession within their first five years, and with a rapidly increasing portion of our best teachers leaving or taking early retirement.  According to the simplistic view of career DoE bureaucrats back in their cubicles far away from the realities of the classroom, the reason is lack of funding and the need for ever more mandates.  The commentators blame it on a handful of “bad” teachers each year, and fail to see the 7,200,000 other good teachers trying to teach despite the system.   Parents think the issue is children who don’t want to work and learn, not realizing how wrong that assessment of our children really is.

Yet the one voice rarely heard is the voice of classroom teachers – the one stakeholder with the understanding and insights to help us fix the real problems. 

ERROR:  Please note a key correction for something I somehow lost in the discussions with WBZ!  The show is 9-midnight, but I am slotted for the 9-10:00 hour, only.  (Senility struck again?)

Next week – Monday night, February 2nd, 9:00pm EST will be a rare exception when teacher voices from around the nation can be heard.  WBZ radio in Boston, with the nation’s 7th largest radio audience, has taken a courageous stand to broadcast a three-hour segment with the author of Lifting the Curtain:  The disgrace we call urban high school education (2nd edition).   The nationally acclaimed Dan Rea show is dedicating the entire show to a call-in format so that teachers can interact with D. A. Russell about the real education issues.  In addition to their on-air million-plus audience in 26 states, the show will be live-streamed on the WBZ website.

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Russell has been an outspoken whistle blower and advocate of how to change the real problem that have destroyed the education of our children.  The show is certain to take on the most serious problems that career DoE bureaucrats and legislators carefully hide from parents:

  • Teachers who must try to teach a full lesson even though an average of 35 minutes has been taken from every standard urban high school class for non-teaching duties and mandates
  • Inept mandates by career DoE bureaucrats that micromanage and undermine education.
  • Teachers forced by school administrators to promote children who have failed
  • Teachers forced by school administrators to dumb down education to make sure everyone passes and the school is not sanctioned
  • The culture of cronyism, and intimidation by their own school administrators, that pervades almost every school
  • The impact of standardized testing that has dumbed-down education, and has caused cancellation of arts and electives
  • The way inclusion classes fail everyone in the class – especially the inclusion children
  • A numerical minority of parents who have hijacked special education to get their child a free ride through high school with unlimited retests and the dreadful accommodation of “Gets an ‘A’ for doing half the work expected of the class.”

Here are the details.  Please join us!  Teachers, call in and be heard for a change!

Time:  9:00 – 12:00pm, EST
Radio:  WBZ-AM radio 1030, Boston MA
Live stream:  http://boston.cbslocal.com/
Lifting the Curtain blog:  https://liftingthecurtainoneducation.wordpress.com/

The 2nd edition of the acclaimed book about today’s failed education system
 Lifting the Curtain:  The disgrace we call urban high school education –

is now available, with dozens of teacher submissions from across the USA and nine
new chapters.  Both KIRKUS and CLARION praise this important book

“…from the unique perspective of a classroom teacher”
that shows the real problems that have destroyed the education
of our children.  Please get a copy HERE or on Amazon.

This entry was posted in Charter Schools, Common core, Education, Education reform, High schools, homeschooling, Inclusion classes, Music and arts courses, Public Education, Standardized testing, Teachers, Teaching, Urban High Schools and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to February 2nd:  an all-too-rare chance for CLASSROOM TEACHERS to be heard on nationwide radio about the real problems with today’s education!  Please join us!

  1. Shannon says:

    Don, thank you so much for writing about such an important topic–and for sharing the voices of teachers across this nation. Your work is impacting many! Looking forward to the radio show!


  2. Jodi Woznick says:

    While I so agree with theses enormous struggles mentioned, I see a huge gap in reporting/investigating/discussing issues that contribute to these in the early years of preschool and elementary classrooms. So many of these issues begin in the early grades and gain momentum through middle/high school. Perhaps we need to address these very similar issues at the earlier grades, as well. It seems like, at times, that we are beginning the discussion in the middle of the conversation

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don R says:

      Jodi, you are spot on. My book and research was only based upon urban high schools. When I started the project I thought (hoped?) that many of these conditions did not exist down at the elementary school level, or even in many suburban high schools.

      I was completely wrong.

      Literally hundreds of emails and posts from teachers around the nation confirmed exactly what you are saying. Several of the teachers passages that were added to the new 2nd edition of the book are based upon elementary and middle school examples.

      I focus upon the high schools because of my personal experience with it, and because I believe it can be the most effective place to start in getting attention to fix the REAL problems with education. I am hoping stage two is to let people see these eight systemic failures in high school education extend to every level in every class in every public school.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donna Aker says:

        I am a high school math teacher and a local teacher and student advocate in Georgia. Will there be a phone number for this call in??

        Liked by 2 people

      • Jodi Woznick says:

        I haven’t read your book, but plan on it soon! I was thinking just the opposite of your reply: perhaps if we started at the preschool/elementary grades we might have more success, in part because there may be less resistance, “outcomes” are, at the moment, less emphasized, over-all perspectives are different amongst parents of students of these ages (more open minded perhaps because they aren’t as frustrated with the system yet?), and lots of research has already been done on the positive effects early childhood education has on general school success. Just a thought.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don R says:

      Yes Donna Aker — the website link at the end of the announcement (http://boston.cbslocal.com/) will have their national call-in phone number for the show. Please call in!! 🙂


    • lynne shalhoub says:

      my question is how do i get oin…to outwardly show support and awareness


      • Don R says:

        Hi Lynne

        WBZ has a call-in number they announce frequently during the show. If you are not in their listening range, they will be live-streaming the show. The link to their webpage is at the bottom of the post.

        I hope you call in! 🙂


  3. Beth says:

    I teach in Louisiana and I just mailed a letter to my local newspaper titled “What Ails the Public Education System Today – A Classroom Teacher’s Perspective” on January 26th. Thank you for giving teachers a voice!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pat Evans says:

    Finally we are being given a stage to voice teachers insights into what needs to be addressed in the nation’s classrooms. I agree with others that have said we need to look closely at the early grades soon. There are many people all over this nation that could help someone to write a book about inside the early years in education. It needs to be done soon. Pat Evans

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dale Knight says:

    as a kindergarten teacher with over twenty years experience in Title I schools, I am saddened and frustrated by the lack of understanding of young children and how they learn. Only when “the powers that be” realize that developmentally appropriate education needs to be brought back into elementary schools, will we see a reversal of negative behaviors in school. Young children are being tormented by all the bubbling, worksheets, and multiple choice testing. Their natural curiosity and creativity are being smothered for no other reason than to force them to read and write before they are developmentally ready. Take a look at Finland’s education system!

    Liked by 2 people

    • patpetrino says:

      Amen to that, Dale Knight! I’m a kindergarten teacher, too, who is saddened and frustrated by all the mandates put on kindergarten students, and the teachers. We spend so much time testing now that instruction and learning activities have been reduced in volume. The standards for kindergarten have basically been replaced by what used to be taught in first grade…NOT developmentally appropriate! The joy of teaching is gone, and many of my coworkers have taken early retirement, even though they can’t afford it, due to the amount of stress on the job.


  6. lynne shalhoub says:

    thanks for being a voice to the..dauntless die hards

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Patricia Dorsey says:

    Please add a way for people to come to my blog, patriciadorsey.wordpress.com. My blog is intended to encourage and challenge my co-teachers to “keep at it” because of the children! You’ll be able to see my heart after teaching in various venues for about 43 years in PA, CT, and in FL.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Patricia Dorsey says:

    Reblogged this on How can I control my class? and commented:
    Please join in on this streamed phone call for teachers to be offered on February 2, “Lifting the Curtain.”


  9. Lisa K Mencer says:

    Thank you for this forum. I would like to add that as a high school teacher that was moved to an elementary position (yes, I am qualified for both) the lack of supports to teachers is both sad and de-valuing. The testing at the elementary level surpasses the amount of testing at the high school level. I will never be able to teach as I should or what my district demands with the amount of testing time given. Now think about what that means for a kid going to school. First, they are kids. They need to be able to play and interact, not have the discipline of a college student! Next, I know their brains need the down time to process and their bodies need the ability to move around.

    I am completely disgusted with the “experts” that do not work with children on a daily basis, who dictate what elementary education should be.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. GG says:

    Thank you for such needed open information as to what actually goes on in teaching or trying to teach today. It is so sad that the teaching profession has become a “pass through profession” where young people use it as a means to get to some place else. Teach long enough to be able to qualify for the profession you really want to be doing. There is no dedication or real identity to teaching children so that they are educated and have a desire to become a functioning part of society. These temporary teachers do just enough to get by: filling out paper work, make believe lesson plans that has more to do with the powers that be than the children, forms, IEP meetings, teacher improvement seminars, test stats evaluations etc that takes hours away from real teacher/student learning. But hey we are just teachers who cares what we know to be the real problems in the classroom and with the way we are going about trying to educate our children. If you want to know how to dig a ditch you would consult a professional ditch digger not the ditch digger supervision who only sees to it that the work is done by the people who knows how to do it the best. Why not get professional teaching knowledge from the people that has the most experience and knowledge from the TEACHERS.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Donyce Floyd says:

    The problem being spoken of at the high school level unfortunately starts at the elementary level where we have to plan for every subject area and in the area where I teach we have 30 minutes without students which is really 20 minutes because we have to take our students to another teacher and pick them up. That time we have then is when we have to meet 1 day a week with co-workers, maybe go to the restroom, 4 days a week we have for planning, parent conferences, mandated conferences for special ed or resource students, paper work that is never ending. School starts at 7:45 and normally I am at work at 6:30, students leave at 3:05 and if I’m lucky, I leave around 4:00. A lot of teachers go in and put a few hours in on Saturday where we can work without interruption and get paperwork, printing, and plans together. Oh, and we are only paid to work 7 hours and 45 minutes a day. We are only paid for the actual 182 days a year when school is in session. Teachers also work during their 2 months off during the summer going to conferences, getting extra training and also making things in order to be prepared for the next year. Elementary teachers are also required to constantly “cutesy” up their classrooms. All the eye candy is time consuming also.


    • Don R says:

      Spot on, Donyce! A real wake-up call for me in the 800-plus responses here and on my linked FB page is how much the troubles I researched and wrote about for urban high schools extends down to the elementary school level. That’s a tragedy. And your post also mirrors the high school loss of an average of 35 minutes of teaching time from every standard class! Sad.


  12. 4cramer says:

    Posting to Badass Teachers Association and my union fb page! Thank you and looking forward to the show!


  13. Mona Lisa says:

    Are there action plans in place to right the wrongs of our failed educational system? I am looking to join forces with others who desire to put our words into action. Anything taking place that I am not aware of? If so, I am definitely interested.


    • Wildfire says:

      Taught 33 years in S C , endless and meaningless meetings. Teachers were seldom respected or encouraged in their area of expertise. It seems if teachers are educated at accredited colleges and universities there should be little need for extensive evaluations. These evaluations usually are used as weapons to belittle and down grade teachers .It is used to strong arm teachers to conform to what is educationally sound. There are showcase schools and classrooms where money is spent leaving a vast majority classrooms and/or students not being funded. Teachers are threatened to go along with poor administration or loose their jobs or certification. Rather than teachers given standards and encouraged to expand on these there is policing to control what should be taught. Many hours in a school week are wasted due to unnecessary interruptions.


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