It’s election day here in Wisconsin. We are voting to recall the governor. Or not.
I have never voted for a Republican in my whole life. Governor Walker is tied closely to the NRA, he is anti-abortion, he is generally against everything I stand for. But you know what? I hope he wins.
Because I think today’s election is a referendum on school unions, and I think the unions stink. I think they hold back school reform, they give antiquated protections to school employees that do not deserve any special treatment when most workers are not protected. And there cannot be drastic school reform until there can be drastic hiring and firing. That’s how corporate America makes significant changes—by hiring and firing. So we need to do that in schools as well.
Additionally, right now we need to prepare kids to work independently, to use entrepreneurship as a safety net, and to change jobs constantly. We can’t teach this to kids in schools when the teachers do not run their lives like this. I’m not sure how to solve the problem that schools don’t teach anything relevant to life. But I’m sure we need to fire all the people who are wedded to the idea of school testing, curriculum-based learning, and permanent employment (as a teacher or as anything else).
We need to start breaking stuff so we can see things differently. I think this election is a referendum on breaking stuff. Sometimes the best way to understand drastic change is through art. Which is why I love the yellow chair project (pictured) by Bade Stageberg Cox. Every kid can go to the same place and fit in with a group, yet every kid can still be his own person. Somehow. We are not sure how. Let’s just admit that. But we can start by looking at examples like this.
I am generally unimpressed with parent activism in schools because you are kidding yourself if you think you can fix education within such a broken system. But today is a referendum on killing the system. Walker took huge measures to kill the unions which is a big step toward killing schools as we know them. I vote yes for this. I want other states to kill their school unions. I want to see the schools completely broken down, because that’s how we’ll have real school reform.
You know what I’d love? To feel like I can have a real discussion with parents who send their kids to school. I’d like to have an honest discussion about how schools are a mess and how we are working together to destroy the current schools so that we can give all kids in the US an education they deserve.