Geoff Thomas, superintendent of Madison School District, wants to restore greatness in public education. His message is now being delivered on a national stage after he was selected to speak with TEDx Talk in December.
“Public education is near and dear to my heart,” Thomas said. “I believe in the system and the process. For so many years we have been under attack by corporations who want to make money off education.”
His topic was “Restoration not Reformation” in public education. He was out of six speakers with an audience of 100 people at the Rexburg Romance Theatre.
“To restore greatness in public education we need to return and restore those principles which are truly effective and not engage in pseudo reforms that have proven to be unworkable,” Thomas said.
Part of his message expressed how he is a product of public education and that it works — without people from Washington, D.C., telling parents how to teach their children.
“The real message is — we have a wonderful K-12 system in the United States,” Thomas said. “Our system is filled with inspiring teachers. We need to support, encourage and thank the teachers.”
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Thomas has worked as a superintendent for nearly 20 years and was named the 2015 Idaho Superintendent of the Year. He is an advocate for public education and an outspoken critic of excessive standardized testing and high-stakes testing.
“I enjoy watching TED Talks and it was exciting to participate, Thomas said. “I was nervous, but I always get nervous when I speak in front of a group of people.”
The TEDx Program is designed to help communities, organizations and individuals spark conversation and connection through local TED-like experiences.