The 5 Essentials survey -- at least the one the teachers fill out -- asks multiple questions about, in a nutshell, collaboration. How well do teachers work with other teachers; with principals, with parents, and with students. I thought that is what the chat would be about. But it wasn't. The chat was all about the survey itself; and how "highfalutin" Illinois educators apparently do not like how the survey is set up and what potentially could be done with the data.
Here is what I would like to say to the educators that took part in the chat: I realize by the time I see the survey for the first time you have probably seen it, dissected it, and talked about it with really "important" people for some time. But by refusing to "come down to my level," you are pushing me and the rest of Illinois' teachers, parents and students aside. Most of you spent the entire hour talking to each other about scientific mishmosh: how will the data be extrapolated, how will the state's "report card" be affected, how will the variables be analyzed. I can see a segment of Illinois educators being interested in that, but it's a small segment; and everyone else that was invited to the chat was left to marvel at the collective "intelligentsia." As a newbie, and a part-time teacher "somewhere downstate," -- and a concerned parent by the way -- I felt like I was out of place, out of sight and out of mind. Only a couple of the educators in the chat even recognized my opinions. Most of you just kept talking about that same "stuff," in your "dee-luxe apartment in the sky." I know you're all caring educators, so what happened? Because the days of you relating to us "common folk" are apparently over. Or, I was invited to the wrong chat.
Notice how many quotation marks I used in the last two paragraphs. I'm not quoting you educators, obviously, I'm telling you how I perceived you. You can blow me off as ignorant if you want, but in a survey that concentrates on collaboration as a means of reaching our collective state education goals, I would suggest that maybe you should pay attention to us little folks down here at the grass roots level. You might learn something.
I would hate to discover that one of the reasons we have to go through exercises like this survey is because talking heads at the upper levels of state education have their heads so far up their own butts they can't see what is happening in the schools. From what I discovered last night, I'm beginning to wonder.