It was another small step forward to helping fix education for our children, and to let teachers actually teach again. Your voice was heard loud and clear last night! The call-in talk show attracted callers from a half dozen states outside New England – including Wisconsin, New Mexico, Georgia, New York, (and a few more I have forgotten). WBZ has the nation’s 7th largest radio audience, and typically reaches more than 1,000,000 listeners on-air and via live streaming. For the entire show, all phone lines were filled. Many people have emailed and called me today to say they were unable to get through despite dozens of calls.
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Host Dan Rea shares my enthusiasm. He was so impressed with the tone and positions all you teachers (and students!) expressed in the first hour, that he extended the show a second hour – preempting what had been scheduled. And at the end of the show, he so appreciated your participation, that he has asked to have a follow-up show so that even more teacher issues can be discussed. On-the-spot, when she called in, he even invited M. Shannon Hernandez to fly to Boston and be the guest on a future show. (He had been especially struck by her passage, one of the dozens by teachers who contributed passages to the 2nd edition of Lifting the Curtain: The disgrace we call urban high school education.)
You all were awesome!
When the show ended, Mr. Rea shared with me the two things that had most impressed him and led him to ask for a return engagement. One was the tone of all the teachers who called in. There was not a single flamer or personal attack in the entire evening. The teachers who got through to the show were reasoned, clearly passionate about teaching, and presented a very different view than is usually seen in the media. The second was that a wide mix of callers from across the nation of teachers, students, and parents all expressed the exact same view! All wanted better education. All wanted legislators to start fixing the real issues. All saw the damage career DoE bureaucrats had done to children. It was amazing! I have never been more proud to be a teacher and be a one of the teachers who were the heart of last night’s show.
When I got home the next day I discovered two teacher unions had emailed to see if I would be interested in speaking to their local unions – and discuss what teachers could do, and what actions we should request of our legislators. That is the kind of thing I have so hoped might happen as people started to see the real education issues. If our state and national unions are only interested in PAC activities and asking for more funding, and if our legislators are more interested in getting union donations than fixing things, it is up to the teachers to speak up, speak out, and be heard.
(One aside! WBZ only will only have the first hour of the show as a podcast I can download and share since our second hour was unplanned. If anyone happens to have recorded the 2nd hour, or the whole show, please email me! I’d be pleased to trade a handful of the “I don’t teach anymore – I’m too busy complying with mandates” buttons to the first who can, for your effort!)
The effort continues. A handful of bloggers and speakers, like M. Shannon Hernandez and myself, are driven to help, and to present your voices without the flaming and personal attacks that drive away the very people we are trying to reach. A generation of children have been cheated out of their chance for a good education. It is left to us, classroom teachers, to do everything we can so that the next generation is not cheated. Not on our watch!
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.