Discussion Starter: Education Issues for 2017

A fitting way to end 2016 is to look forward to what the most pressing educational issues of 2017 will be. What can we expect to be on the minds of educators as the year unfolds? Will federal-level initiatives meant to further the propagation of charter schools dominate education news? Could changes in funding create additional staffing shortages as early as fall 2017? Will wrangling over the Common Core remain a principle concern? What will the coming spring look like for parents seeking to opt out of state tests?

While something unanticipated could emerge to become a focus for educators and others on the periphery of the field, chances are the most significant issues will be a continuation of those in place at the end of 2016. We’ll likely see more discussion of classroom concerns such as the nature and purpose of grading and homework. Schools will wrestle with how to address intolerance and violence on and off campus. Districts, state departments of education, and lawmakers will examine the strain of pensions on budgets. Issues such as these aren’t approaching resolution. Some aren’t going to have clear resolutions.

I have my suspicions regarding what will on the minds of those in the field in 2017. Have I missed anything? What do you think will be most critical to education over the next twelve months? What will be solved? What will get worse? Share in the comments and best wishes for the new year.

Discussion Starter: Education Issues for 2017

One thought on “Discussion Starter: Education Issues for 2017

  1. Jeffrey, your discussion-starters are wonderful and I thank you very much for them. I speak from having been a student between the years 1963 and 1975 in the public schools, and after that, I attended various colleges. I was considered gifted, whatever that meant. Also, being a girl meant you weren’t truly allowed to be smart, because in the back of our little girl minds we knew we’d be all be forced into marriages down the road.

    This is my thinking. We got new laws on the books in the USA, that will take effect and will influence the entire Western world since the USA loves to push its ideals and principles where it doesn’t have any business doing so. The new Mental Health legislation is demanding early detection of so-called mental illness. These are not actual illnesses, but in fact symbolic diseases, the existence of such is determined not only by the eye of the beholder, but by financial interests of the pharmaceutical companies.

    While adult humans have free will, and can choose to reject such name-calling, children do not have it so easy. If they are called a thing, by the schools, by a doctor, by a guidance counselor, or by a social worker, they are often cornered into being that thing, purely by the expectations of others. These new laws are even demanding that “early detection of ‘mental illness’ is detected at birth.” Clearly this law target families that are racially disadvantaged, poor, or single-parent.

    Teachers play a huge role here. Are teachers going to tolerate widening the umbrella of who is called abnormal? Are teachers going to tolerate the mass drugging of our children, which causes breaking up of families, addiction, brain damage, sudden death, and funneling thousands of our nation’s kids straight into that one-way door of the mental health system?

    Or will teachers take a stand on this? The mental health system is a system of eugenics. Will teachers act to fight for the rights of children, for human beings, for families, for survival of the species, and for us all?

    Julie Greene


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