Taking children's parents seriously as their child's first teacher, requires collaboration not mandates.
But as long as public officials insist on making test scores the measure of teacher quality and school success, then their claims should be closely scrutinized using the metrics that they themselves have made the coin of the realm. Many of the schools that politicians hail as successes have records no different from other schools that the politicians are closing.
But the harder part is to figure out how to create a relationship built on trust between school people and families—one by one. Most of all it takes a great deal of patience and time. It can't happen in a single year
Finland rightly deserves attention today as a nation that treats its children as a precious resource and that honors the adults who make education their passion and their career.
But, for the moment, my unambivalent "Hurrah!" to the protesters on Wall Street, to Van Jones' effort to mobilize nationally, to SOS (Save Our Schools), and many more. The future looks, at least, interesting.