When I served on the executive committee of a bipartisan school reform effort, I collaborated with Fortune 500 CEOs (including the premier union-buster in this part of the "oil patch") and students, parents, and educators in eighty schools. Sometimes, with students as translators, the conversations continued in the parking lot long after the community meetings adjourned. I heard a consensus that middle school is broken. I never met someone who thought it was a good idea to mix inner city sixth graders with seniors. But the best laid plans ...
Having started as an environmental educator for grades three through eighth, I love the opportunity to interact with the cute and rambunctious little children who now share our high school. But when it comes to articulating a solution for middle school, "you can’t get there from here."
2. Teaching middle schoolers "to be students" as with KIPP; and
3. The principle that "in Union there is strength," and the principle of Community Schools espoused by the AFT.
What if President Obama locked Geoffrey Canada, Mike Feinberg, and Randi Weingarten in a conference room with instructions for a "Win Win"compromise? We all know that we must reinvent middle school, so why can’t we all try to do it together? - John Thompson