From the desk of MSEA's president, November 2010
My wish list for a 21st century school house isn’t too long, but
it covers just about everything an educator of any subject or grade needs:
- A whiteboard in every
- A laptop for every
- A school-wide tool for
efficient teacher-parent communication
- A multimedia library
with stations for learning, collaborating, and quiet study
- A highly skilled
technology instructional specialist
- And enough professional
development to use Web 2.0 tools and social media technology to collaborate
with peers in the building and beyond to support student learning
It’s obvious—we need to prepare students for a global economy, one
where technology plays an ever-increasing role. To do that we need resources and
a skilled teaching workforce, and that requires a solid funding commitment from
federal, state, and local governments.
But this time of year, despite the fact that everyone agrees educating our children
to compete in this new environment is the state’s priority, we start to fret
about the coming General Assembly and what will happen to the education budget.
Governor O’Malley says we need to continue to move forward, not
back, and for us that means a 21st century schoolhouse that includes my
high-tech wish list, plus maintaining the salaries and benefits that have
always attracted our valued educators.
We helped reelect a governor who has been a great friend to public
Gov. O’Malley worked as a partner with us on the education reform
law that included changes to the way teachers are evaluated. He’s promised not to
cut education funding and so far, he’s been able to hold his ground.
We also recently elected promising education-friendly candidates
across the state. These lawmakers want and need to be educated about your pension
and other issues that affect you in your 21st century classrooms and worksites.
This January, the General Assembly will take a very close look at educators’
pensions as a line item that can be trimmed from the state’s budget. It’s time for education advocates across
the board to recognize the value of the pension benefit as a tool as important
in the 21st century as it was in the 20th.
If we want to be 21st century educators, we need to take the lead
by moving public education forward. Join me in reaching out to legislators and
the governor this legislative session to ensure full funding for education, to protect
educators’ pensions, and to shape a fair teacher evaluation system.
What do you think? Email Clara or write her at MSEA, 140 Main St, Annapolis, MD 21401.