Have you guys ever heard of Prince Ea, the spoken-word artist and activist known for sharing seriously inspirational videos on YouTube? I'll admit I hadn't until yesterday, when I received an excited text from my 14-year-old daughter.
"Omg we just saw this in class," she wrote, forwarding me a link. "Just watch."
"Albert Einstein once said: Everyone's a genius," he begins. "But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
"Tell me school, are you proud of the things you've done?" he then asks. "Turning millions of people into robots, do you find that fun? Do you realize how many kids relate to that fish? Swimming upstream in class, never finding their gifts? Thinking they are stupid. Believing they are useless. Well the time has come, no more excuses."
Brilliant! He then goes on to underscore the importance of bringing customized models of teaching to the classroom.
"Every scientist will tell you that no two brains are the same," he explains. "And every parent with two or more children will confirm that claim. So please explain why you treat students like cookie-cutter frames or snapback hats, giving them this one-size-fits-all crap."
It's a great question, as are the ones he goes on to raise about things like the efficacy of standardized testing, low teacher wages, and the Common Core, before finally resting his case:
"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, if we continue down this road, the results will be lethal," he warns. "I don't have much faith in schools, but I do have faith in people. If we can customize healthcare, cars, and Facebook pages, then it is our duty to do the same with education.... This is a world in which I believe. A world in which fish are no longer forced to climb trees."
A-men! #ImWithHim. And you will be, too, after you watch the entire five-minute indictment.