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Who Are the Education Establishment?

September 21, 2012

A refrain of the education reform movement is that every good idea is blocked by the Education Establishment. When writers write this, they use capital letters – which tells you it’s a pretty big deal.

When I entered the education profession nyma years ago, I never planned on becoming part of the big bad EE and upholding the status quo in which teachers bully children, principals treat parents like criminals, and superintendents spend money all willy nilly on fluff and nonsense. Fortunately, I had the good sense to find willing mentors who would help me find comfort in a world in which I could replace my silly ideals of helping all children learn with a steadfast devotion to the effort to keep my friends and me employed at all costs.

Oh wait, that’s not what happened at all. I had the good fortune to know good teachers, visionary principals, and well-versed superintendents. I had supportive parents (usually) and students with about the right mix of curiosity and rebellion to keep me interested while I was still figuring out what I was doing. Along the way, as I matured, I became a leader within my building and pursued opportunities to both help students prepare for life after school and help teachers transition into the profession. I learned the value of collaboration and that nothing good comes without a willingness to take risks.

All over our state are education veterans – thousands of them – who support those just starting out. They belong to organizations like OEA, AFT, CCOSA, and OSSBA – ones that advocate for their specific roles in education. They also belong to organizations like NCTM, NCTE, PDK, and ACTFL – ones that advocate for the improvement of instruction in their content areas. These teachers, administrators, and even board members know that doing what’s best for children means taking an advocacy role for the profession as well.

I don’t care if the label is meant to be something negative; I accept and wear it with pride.

  1. September 22, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I was a member of The Establishment for 24 years, and nearly every other member I knew was a public servant who worked hard and in the best interest of the state. For most of that time, I worked specifically on goals related to doing what’s right for children. Yet, Oklahomans tend to have an even lower opinion of state employees than they do of teachers. It’s sad and a huge obstacle to the progress of our state. As such, a big THANKS for all you do and say!


    • September 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      You’re very welcome. I have absolutely nothing to gain from writing this blog – other than catharsis. I just tire of the lies being told by policy makers who don’t have the interest of children at heart.


  1. September 23, 2012 at 10:26 pm
  2. January 21, 2013 at 4:24 pm
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