Ted Dintersmith is a successful venture capitalist who visited 200 schools in 50 states and talked with thousands of people about school. He recently wrote about what he saw and offers advice to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet. Here’s an excerpt:
During my travels, I met with every element of our education ecosystem — governors, legislators, billionaires, school boards, college admissions, textbook and testing executives, bureaucrats, students, parents and teachers. I covered every geography, demographic and school type. I had no ax to grind, no bias to uphold. I just wanted to listen and learn. For an administration that relies on index cards with “I hear you” reminders, here’s what our secretary of education needs to hear.
First, America’s teachers are dedicated, passionate and committed — across all types of schools. They care. Many are distressed, even in tears. Like troops fighting an unwinnable war, our teachers know they’re being held accountable to tests that don’t reflect real learning, nor lead to important competencies. We are demoralizing our teaching force, driving our best to early retirement and dissuading young adults from the profession that will shape our nation’s future.
Second, I was blown away by the many inspiring examples of great innovation I encountered — in classrooms, schools, districts and states. In these classrooms, teachers help kids develop essential skill sets and mindsets.
Click here to read the rest.