Those in the education community want you to know, along with Obama’s comments about teachers–charter school teachers, that is…

** “This week we honor the educators working in public charter schools across our nation who, each day, give of themselves to provide children a fair shot at the American Dream, and we recommit to the basic promise that all our daughters and sons–regardless of background or circumstance–should be able to make their lives what they will.” from Obama’s Teacher Appreciation Week proclamation (Yes, he said charter school teachers!)

** “Are we certain that what the world needs is more than 50 million public school children who meet the same academic goals? Is it possible that true opportunity is the opportunity to develop specific expertise? Might the success of a nation, in the face of a future that no one can predict perfectly, rest on the diversity in educational goals–in the same way that biodiversity ensures the success of a species?

What if the true educational gap for disadvantaged children is related to the opportunity to develop their passions? What if children need more time for free play, recess, or self-directed learning and less time spent in structured preschools or prepping for tests?” ~ Kimberly Everson, Western Kentucky University

** “The teaching profession needs two things in order to thrive–respect and trust. The two go together. You can say nice words and be grateful to teachers, but if you do not trust them as professionals, you are not showing them respect. Trust means giving teachers (appropriate) autonomy in their classrooms, but it also means giving them influence over policy–real influence, not a few token teachers on some committee–and it means giving them control over their own professional growth. We need to stop fixing teachers and create environments in which teacher themselves fix their own profession. We need to trust them to do so.” ~John Ewing, head of Math for America

** “I do think that people at state and district levels think about teachers a lot, but thinking about them is not the same as listening to them and developing respect.” ~ Madeline Will,, Education Week

** “Forcing special needs and English language learners to take high stakes tests is abusive. It’s not the kids failing, it’s a failure of the system.” ~ Betty Rosa, Regents Chancellor

** “In the not-distant past, civil rights groups filed lawsuits to block standardized testing on grounds that it is racially biased. They were right. It is no accident that standardized tests accurately reflect family income and parent education… It is important to remember that tests are a measure, not a remedy. Do we keep pouring millions or billions into testing but not spending on the remedies, like small classes?” ~ Kate Taylor, New York Times