There are many people who have never stepped foot inside a classroom as a teacher who are wielding tremendous influence over education.
I'm curious how many of these same men and women look for teachers, principals, and superintendents to fill their own boardrooms. What would Bill Gates say when he was CEO of Microsoft if a history teacher came to him and said, "your products are terrible, you don't know what you're doing, you're not innovative enough, and I'm just the person to fix it"?
Imagine a sociology teacher coming into a Walmart and telling anyone from the store manager to the CEO that they needed to completely change their business model, the way they trained, or the way they paid their employees? Or maybe they should open a completely separate "charter" Walmart store to compete with their other Walmarts for business.
Educators of our children go to school for many years, and they go back for more once they become teachers. They are trained in ideas and concepts that work and they gain valuable classroom experience that helps them shape and improve their work even more. Many of them can speak to you about what does and doesn't work and how education can be fixed. I have to imagine it's not enjoyable when a billionaire with no educational experience funds policies and initiatives that have you spinning your wheels or becoming part of their grand experiment, especially if you're in a building that's the victim of years of neglect, using outdated materials, teaching kids who barely have two cents to rub together.
If Bill and Melinda Gates, the Waltons, or any number of our wealthy local benefactors want to put money into education, great. But let the educators take that money and decide how they can best spend it. Stop throwing money toward experiments, or worse, politicized attacks on our educational system under guise of educational improvement.
And maybe throw a teacher or two in your corporate boardrooms, and get a feel for what it's like when someone who isn't making a 7 figure plus income has ideas and thoughts on how you should run things.