The references and discussions about public schools in this book will be relating to the United States and my experiences as a public-school teacher. During my teaching career there were numerous times when a complete overhaul of the education system would take place. I’m referring to Common Core, testing related to No Child Left Behind, the Rubric used to Evaluate teachers, and many more assessments intended to rate teachers with the idea student performance would improve. Consequently, these documents did not accomplish these goals they only weighed down education. Changes came with no input or discussion from teachers, and especially no educators who would be implementing them in the classroom. To be fair, every change was great in theory. They were well written, well-orchestrated, and well implemented. The problem was they were not well planned for children. The changes came so frequently that teachers referred to education as a pendulum. The meaning of pendulum was the educational focus, goals, and strategies would be at one extreme, but in a few years, everything would reverse directions. Education was a moving target and we all knew it. The problem was, we could not do anything about it. Teachers had to adapt or lose their jobs. This was a tremendous burden for me. I constantly felt I was being a hypocrite by promoting and endorsing methods which were against my better judgment. I will point these out later in this book.
In my research for An Inside Look at Education; What No One Told Us and How It Is Impacting Our Children, I discovered the type of education system being used by the elite private schools in the U.S. I wanted to know about the curriculum, the assessment, and the methods used in the most elite schools in our nation. The schools I chose for the comparison with public education were schools attended by the children and grandchildren of the presidents, and political families living in Washington, DC, the schools attended by the wealthiest families in the country, and the schools attended by the children of Silicon Valley where all the latest and greatest technology is available. This book will provide the comparisons and attempt to explain why education works for the elite, but is failing the rest.
It would be an endless task to evaluate and compare all private schools of the wealthy. Therefore, I have limited my research to the Waldorf Schools (attended by the children of many of the executives in Silicon Valley), the Finnish School System, and the Sidwell Friends School (attended by many of politicians in Washington, DC). Documents and references to public schools are limited to the U.S. and North Carolina. There are many others which could have been used for this research.
Most important in the workings and education is the philosophy of the schools. How children are viewed and valued, the methods used, the assessments and the information gathered through the assessments should remain consistent with the philosophy.