TREND Spring 2020 - Page 6

Critics Sho Need a quick headline in the media? Attack public education. Want to gripe about something in government? Attack public education. Have a business venture that needs cash influx? Attack public education. Attacking public education is becoming a hobby to some, and a profession to several others. I have been critical over the years of many things in public education. From lack of focus or poorly defined goals to disagreement with curriculum to self-serving unions. However, I have always tried to do what my mother advised, “If you are going to criticize, offer a solution.” Teddy Roosevelt made it blatantly clear when he said, “It is not the critic who counts,” but rather “the man who is actually in the arena.” Too many people want to simply condemn ideas, people, or society and offer nothing realistic in return. Let’s be clear: there will never be a one size fits all model for public education and no single academic model can work for everyone in a diversified population in a state or nation. That is why it is critical to have collaboration among educators, parents, citizens, and businesses to transform education at the local level based on the needs of each community. That is real local control. Students will always need to learn basic skills such as reading and writing, and education stakeholders and policymakers must help students understand the changing world around them. That will mean many different things from community to community and from state to state. There is no debate that evolving technology is changing how we teach and learn. No single method can accommodate all student learning needs. Through technology, we can enable educators to address the unique needs of individual learners based