Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Letter from the Principal

Interesting post. Read the whole thing, but here's an excerpt:

Dear Parent,

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all that you have done to support our school in its endeavors to accomplish our mission. Your services as a volunteer, membership in the PTO, and attendance at parent conferences and our open house are all greatly appreciated.

As the principal of your child's school and the administrative representative of your school district, state, and national education system, I also want to offer my sincerest apologies. We are failing to achieve our mission, and your child's future is in jeopardy . . .

I won't comment at this point, but I'd be interested in your responses to it.


  1. Wow--this ties in perfectly with Friedman. Here's the passage from the letter that struck me:
    "Your child is receiving the best writing instruction in the region, but our children are not being taught to communicate. The future will demand people who can express themselves effectively with images, animation, sound, and video, but our students are not learning these skills in our school. Character education remains one of the major focuses here, but we are doing little to understand and teach about the new ethics of information."
    This made me think back to our discussion on weighting grades, and how we questioned whether our job was to teach the subject (history, math, whatever) or to teach character (diligence, etc). Many of us argued that our job was to teach the subject, but this article raises the opposite point. It seems that it's not about what students are learning but how they're expressing and utilizing what they're learning.

  2. I also think it ties in well, but I'm not sure I agree that this post supports just teaching character. I think it supports teaching it all. They need to know the basics of the content, but that is no longer enough. They then also need to know how to apply the knowledge, synthesize the knowledge, communicate the knowledge, extend the knowledge . . .

  3. I agree that the traditional methods is just covering the surface of what we need to teach these kids. The world is advancing and education should advance with it. How can education keep up financially? Where do we find the time to educate all our teachers and compensate them for it? This is where parents and businesses can step up to help education keep up.

  4. You might also want to read a letter back to this principal

  5. Without reading the comments first, I went to the letter and the same section Kristin was grabbed by, did the same ot me as well. What an awesome responsiblity we are undertaking and we have began to undertake as well. The scary side of technology is something we need to add into our instruction regarding those individuals who will try to divert our students away from the truth and manipulate their minds with misinformation. And that is the least of our worries; our jobs will broaden to include teaching our students the responsibilities and dangers of those who prey on kids with technology. What an awesome responsibility.

  6. Can we imagine a world where the position of leadership in a school (one that needs leadeership of education and POLITICS) is willing and able to say this? Suerly, CSAP is merely tying to do it for them. OK, now, i am just being sarcastic. That's what doing catch-up blogging leads to!