LA Unified recently won its request for a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act, which aims to improve education for the disadvantaged through standardized testing so that every child is adept at math and English by next year. One Los Angeles teacher believes education has become more about test scores than learning.
“Gone are the days of ‘Stand and Deliver’ and ‘Mr. Holland’s Opus,'” says Chad Greendale. “It’s no longer about the arts or engaging students in multiple aspects of discovery. Instead, it has become all about academic performance in comparison to other schools. I think we need to go back to the heart of what made all of us get into education in the first place.”
Greendale studied history at California State University of Long Beach before earning a master of arts in secondary education from University of Phoenix. Wanting to create a change in standard educational policies for the better, Greendale decided to go back to school at Loyola Marymount University where he earned his administrative credential.
“I didn’t agree with some of the policies that were handed down to me so I decided to make the changes I wanted to see in the world. After searching for jobs in administration throughout Southern California, Greendale was eventually offered a position as the dean at a South LA charter school after the previous dean had left for another position. As the current dean of students, Greendale’s primary responsibility is to enforce all school rules and determine the most appropriate disciplinary action for students who get in trouble. His most recently acquired credential in school administration was the icing on the cake that made it possible.
For the South Bay resident, his continuous pursuit of higher education to advance his career has opened many doors, enabling him to build a strong network of personal and professional contacts, each of which he can turn to for career advice and even job opportunities. “Like in most careers, it’s not what you know but who you know, and I got many jobs not because of my knowledge of content but rather the relationships I created outside of the work place,” says the 29-year-old dean.
The biggest piece of advice Greendale has to offer others striving for career advancement opportunities in the field of education is to have humility. “Have humility with all of your action and remember that you are still learning something new every day whether it’s within the education system or not,” says Greendale. “Education can be a small community. Always remember your relationships as they will drastically effect your current and future positions.”
Niki Payne is a freelance writer covering all things Entertainment in Los Angeles. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.