I found the results of this morning's presidential contest disappointing but not particularly surprising.
Throughout this campaign I noticed Trump lawn signs outnumbered Clinton signs by a rather large margin. Scott (Dilbert) Adams, a very smart guy, predicted a Trump victory months ago and stood by his prediction though all Trump's supposed gaffs, analyzing the race through the lens of a "master persuader." And the conservative media was as adamant in the prediction of a Donald win as was the liberal media of a Hillary sweep. Why would one biased viewpoint be any more accurate than another? Predicted large voter turnouts usually mean the most passionate about issues are voting in bigger numbers and this time the passion was anger and dissatisfaction held by the white middle class. (Read DJ Vance's Hillbilly Elegy). I would not have bet money on the outcome but I am not shocked.
Is there a message about societal change and human nature that can be applied to education change from this election?
For some of us, social change cannot come fast enough. In the past eight years we have seen an African American man get elected and serve most capably as our president; we have begun a path to provide socialized medicine for all citizens; we have shifted our energy policies from cheap oil and gas to renewables; and we have recognized the rights of our GLBT citizens. And that, my friends, objectively is a lot of social change - all of which I applaud.
But with so much change there was bound to be push back. From your cousin Bud or Aunt Tilda. Maybe your 90-year-old dad or the guy down the street who wears camo and hunts deer. People who feel they've had no voice in the change process and are worried that their values are not being honored, their fears are going unaddressed.
I've always argued that incremental change in schools is better than radical change. It causes less stress and actually lasts. Do we risk major push back, even reversals, if we cram too much change through our educational systems? The cousin Buds are out there in our teaching ranks and among our parents and community.
Change cannot come fast enough, I realize, for those who are undeserved by current educational practices. But without planned, careful, scaled implementation of such change, that next superintendent or tech director or other change agent just might take the school a huge step back. You want a Donald Trump as your next school board president?