My views are such that, though I was invited to speak (at SOS) this weekend, I declined. Having spent 30 years at this I come to the conclusion that until and unless teachers treat students with greater intellectual respect, nothing will change. Until and unless school is defiend as talent development and not a march through The Valued Past, we will fail. School is boring for many if not most. When was the last time you folks shadowed students for a day? It is a grim experience. It is endlessly easy to blame Others, those Outsider bada guys. But from where I sit, the problem isa Pogo problem: I have met the enemy; it is us.
Let me speak a blunt truth: few teachers truly understand their job at a deep level. Every workshop we do, we ask teachers to write their own Mission statement; few can do it. They are so drawn to cover content instead of using content to engage minds that even the best schools are nowhere near as good as they should be. The students who succeed are those who trust adults and delay gratification.
What Wiggins seems to be insulated from is the extent to which these decisions have been taken away from teachers -- or educators at all -- in the past few years in our urban districts, and the ferocity with which teachers and schools and he might actually approve of have been attacked. Again, not by other teachers.
If the "real reformers" at SOS win, we get to have the debates Wiggins is talking about.
Also, if I was a PPSD teacher sitting in a professional development session and after everything that happened the past three years someone asked me to write my own mission statement, I'd write down "Go. Fuck. Yourself." and throw it in the garbage. I'm sure Wiggins would reach the conclusion I don't understand my job.