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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

We should be saluting great teachers not beating them down

From Mr. Chuck Olynyk, one a brillant history teacher who brings history to life writes:
"Good Morning, World! Our last hurrah as the Humanitas Arts School at Roosevelt Senior High begins. Next year will begin the apartheid of public education: AP classes on one side, double-blocking of English and Math and elimination of any real enrichment of the curriculum, but plenty oof multiple choice questions answered on computers about articles kids read once and forget. Between Roosevelt and Fremont Highs, I've taught for 19 years in the Humanitas Program, linking History, English and Art, and for a really awesome year at Edison Middle School with Andrea Mordoh and Dwayne Turner doing likewise. Guess I'll just have to have a final project which involves creativity instead of recall, innovation instead of repetition. Because, as my friend Jesse Turner has observed, children are more than test scores"

Something is rotten in an America that crushes our 
learning and teaching spirits for test scores. The saddest piece of these efforts to focus on testing is that none of it has improved our nation's test scores. Our 17-olds are scoring lower on NAEP assessment than they did two decades ago, (NAEP 2009). We are now moving into further declines. In other words the data points to NCLB/RTTT as the biggest education policy failure in our nation's history.

Who is Mr. Olynyk?

To know this kind of teacher is to love him. Every child dreams of one day having a teacher like him. To get Mr. OLynyk in High School at the most cynical age is sheer bliss. Everyday in High School is like a holiday when Mr. Olynyk is in the house. You walk around what did he do today...OMG...can't wait until class...
To fully understand what it means to bring history to life for inner city Los Angeles high school students. You need to see Mr. Chuck Olynk teaching his students. Chuck's classroom is like no other classroom. He lives, he breathes, he empties his soul into his teaching. He is a 19-year vetran who has blogged this attacked on public education since 2010. He is not walking away, he is not giving up, but he is documenting this tragedy happening to his students and fellow teachers. After all this is what historians do. Chuck's story is a living primary source. I don't have to tell you this, but Mr. Olynk is loved by his students. That love keeps him going, and his teaching story inspires me. It reminds me of why I have to fight the power.
I salute you Mr. Olynk,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

I can sleep at night peacefully, because Mr. Olynyk will not go quiet into that good night. 

If you are wondering what I am listening to on my walk today. It is Public Enemy "Fight The Power"