I was thinking the other day about Gerald Bracey. Dr. Bracey is always an inspiration and a researcher who knew how to help the rest of us make sense of information, often in upbeat, even humorous ways. I own almost all of his books. The ones about research were and still are very informative. And who can forget his Phi Delta Kappan articles and the myriad of informative reports about schools?
But consider some of his book titles: On the Death of Childhood and the Destruction of Public Schools: The Folly of Today’s Education Policies and Practices; What You Should Know About The War on Public Schools; and his last book, Education Hell: Rhetoric to Reality–Transforming the Fire Consuming America’s Schools. Such titles, forewarned us of pending doom when it came to public schools and seem, sadly, all too relevant today. Yet, most of his writings always found a positive way out. Gerald Bracey knew strong public schools were vital to our democracy. And he left us with the hope that, despite the bad news, in some way, public schools would survive. At least that is how I interpreted it.
And so, while no writing about this true education icon can do him justice, I dedicate the first day of my blog to Dr. Bracey. Revive, Rally and Recover-The New 3rs. I still believe there’s hope.
When I read the writings of others…especially teachers working hard in the classroom as the 2013-14 year begins, who worked hard for degrees that mattered and care more about their students than anyone can imagine, I am encouraged.
When I hear the pointed comments of parents, whose voices ring loud and clear above the pervasive bad news, I know public schools will eventually find their way out of the moral abyss and be strong and thriving.
Dr. Bracey knew there was a war on public schools. But wherever he is now, I get the feeling he is not only proud of the great soldiers who carry on the fight, but he is prodding us all on to not give up and to be of good cheer. Here’s to you sir. Your hard work and energy was not in vain!