Thanks to Valerie Strauss’ post today on the #whatif Twitter meme responses to Arne Duncan, I realized something surprising and was encouraged to tweet some of the ideas for CONSTRUCTIVE education/school reform that have been marinating in my mind for many months.

First of all, when viewing the lively #whatif twitter stream, I saw that Arne Duncan (our U.S. Secretary of Education) follows me on Twitter. This might seem unremarkable, but he’s presently just following 202 folks and has over 180K followers. I’m not sure what prompted him to follow me, but if there’s a chance he’d listen to my small voice or the voices of other teachers I regularly try to amplify, that’s a very good thing.

For several months now, I’ve been wanting to write a book on education reform for legislators. I’ve been thinking this needs to be a handbook, and it needs to give legislators short “sound bytes” they can use when talking to the media, constituents, and each other about education policy issues. Unfortunately, different organizations promoting “destructive education reform” including harmful policies like A-F report cards, VAM in teacher assessment, etc. have done an effective job holding hotel retreats and passing out talking points that some legislators have made their own. We need not only a counter-narrative to the present wave of destructive, anti-public school reforms which Diane Ravitch (@dianeravitch) has articulately documented in her books “The Death and Life of the Great American School System” and “Reign of Error,” but a “handbook for constructive education reform in the language of common folk.” Of course it needs a shorter and catchier title, but hopefully you get the idea. I want to contribute to that effort, but as a full-time classroom teacher, I don’t have much free time to write now. (Yes, I could be writing that over the Christmas holidays, but I’ve been a book writing slacker… I admit it.)

So, here are my #whatif tweets from this evening. Perhaps I’ll take these sometime down the road and elaborate on each one in more detail in a short handbook for legislators on education policy.

“What if” indeed? These all relate to the final tweet of the day I’ll share in this post, which is a photo of three bumper stickers I purchased awhile back to adorn a future laptop in need of decoration.

In case you’re reading this on a device or in a location where you can’t view that Twitter photo, here is the text from the bumper stickers:

Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the future. -Alan Ginsberg. The key to the future is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known. – Pete Seeger. As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but together we make a mighty fist. – Sitting Bull.

Long live freedom of speech, and the opportunity to share our hopes and dreams for our schools with others around the world via Twitter.

What are your #WhatIf statements about education you’d like to share with Arne Duncan and other leaders shaping educational policies?

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3 Responses to #WhatIf My Ideas on School Reform Become Reality?

  1. Daria Liutenko says:

    Oh come on, in some schools twitter can play a role a bit, but where I live only thing that has a matter to the students is will their social network (VK) work or not. Twitter is the least of #whatif things that bother our students.

  2. Wesley Fryer says:

    I think you may have misunderstood this post. I didn’t claim students in school are bothered by Twitter.

  3. Daria Liutenko says:

    Well,I meant,that Twitter is less popular around my region,that is all 🙂

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