Wanted: learning lobbyist

Like many educators I am tired of NCLB and RTTT. I am tired of the hyper-testing attitude of this country and its politicians. I also feel like such a small voice as a teacher in a middle school in Michigan. Through Twitter and blogs I know that there are many, many educators out there who are trying to make a difference and create authentic learning experiences for kids with and with out technology.

One question I have had that re-surfaced in my mind today is why is it that none of the “ed-tech leaders” have any political power with Duncan, Obama, or any of the other politicians who are making these terrible policies. This is not a critique of any educators but a serious question of why no one is working the political channels for better policy decisions. Or maybe they are and I just don’t know about it.

I consider the great minds that I learn from to not just be ed-tech leaders but the leaders in learning period. So what if we created a new lobby group. I know just the thought of it is sickening, but that is how this country works. What if everyone in our networks who believes in student-centered, problem-based, authentic learning using all tools available sponsored a lobbyist.

Now I know we have the NEA lobbyists and I believe in the need for a union. But the union is looking after teachers rights and benefits. We need a separate entity that focuses on what is the best educational policy for student learning.

It is not my intent to nominate a candidate for this position, but rather propose what they should look like. It should be someone who has been a teacher and an administrator. They need to be an established leader in education with a deep commitment to student centered learning. They also need some skills in communicating and networking. They should be a person who knows how to work with politicians and how to get things done in Washington D.C.

I think we need to get out of the echo chamber of our network and have someone represent us in the political fray. I got $20 a year to donate to this person. If we all did this we could afford to pay them a fair salary. So what do you think?

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