The Caddo Parish and Louisiana Department of Education philosophy of Kindergarten Leadership continues as it beats down professional educators by sheer force. Rational or sound educational programs are pushed aside because elected and appointed officials flow with the political winds and public clamors for instant gratification.
Professional seasoned educators with years of demonstrated success are dropping out of the system out of frustration. Creative educational leaders, whose successes include top school professionals, have had their juices sapped because kindergarten-mentality leadership has bowed to lock-step rigidity at state department demands and the politically mandated processes.
Current demands based almost totally on test scores have driven individual learning initiative from the Steve-Jobs-like programs of imaginative chaos for brilliant minds out of progressive and successful programs because “they don’t fit OUR Standard.” Programs that spawned creative and genius talent have become assembly-line rote learning factories because supervisors must have forms and computer programs completed to prove they have accomplished their tasks.
The process formerly responsible for American creative thinkers, who are capable of accomplishing the previously unaccomplished, are drowning in paperwork. Rote computer-based learning in charter schools with lead teachers available through distance learning have now been touted as models for success. These programs work for some students, in some communities, but demanding that cookie cutter programs are best defeats the concept that creative minds will achieve using models that date back to Greek and Roman Socratic reasoning.
This argument does not suggest that older methods are best for all students. Yet, by the same argument, it does suggest that today’s educational focus has failed to bring new ideas to the floor that meet all student needs. What they have succeeded in doing is to drive the brightest and best creative instructors to a state of frustration where no end game for success seems viable.
When mediocre minds who only succeed through charismatic political maneuvers drive educational programs the expectations are politically driven also. The expectation for creativity to flourish, those whose brilliance will change lives for the better, will only be possible when creative minds are given freedom to explore. Today the ability to explore is seen by school boards and state leadership as “a square peg in a round hole.” They don’t permit a slot on the form for this category.
When students can’t march in a line, complete the forms and take the tests, the system no longer seems to find a way for them to “fit” in the system. So you students named Jobs, Einstein, Plato, Gates, Mendelssohn, Picasso, Shaw, Tarantino, Eastman, Pryor, Hitchcock and Dave Thomas -stay after school and write these lines: “I will color in the lines, always follow the script, and never try anything the teacher has not approved.”
When this scenario becomes the only acceptable path to get credit and graduate through the educational system, our enemies will be able to say, “yes, that democracy idea was a nice experiment, but we told you it would never work.”