Sharing ideas on Education, Leadership and Life

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Enough is Enough

Before I begin I must make a disclaimer that I work in a Private school and we don’t have a union and we don’t have tenure either.Much of the debate doesn’t affect me as it effects many of the members of my PLN. That being said I think all educators need to speak up when something is wrong.
I just read the article from CBS News “Are Teachers making the Grade” and my reaction was Enough is Enough.
Teaching like any profession needs to have accountability and benchmarks to evaluate teacher performance. In my school we are using Kim Marshall’s rubric which is very detailed and allows for teacher growth at any level. After all isn’t our goal that we should all improve.
Just as mentioned in my last blog there are some Super Teachers, there are also some teachers that refuse to change and meet the needs of our students, and they are not willing to grow. Yes that is a bad thing and I believe everyone agrees there needs to be education reform.
In my opinion as a bit of an outsider the issue is not that teachers need to be accountable but to link that accountability to Standardized test scores is not only wrong but foolish.

1. Standardized Tests usually test memory and not learning. Good teachers want their students to learn, not only the material but skills for life and often those students who are actually learning what counts for life may not do as well on standardized tests
2. What do these test scores measure? What does 100 mean? Is anyone perfect? Again therefore it is flawed
3. Would you rather have your child in the class where the teacher cares about his/ her needs and meets them ( even at the risk of test scores) or would rather a teacher who just teaches the material to everyone so that they can do well on the Test
4. The tests to the best of my knowledge don’t take into account the different socio-economic background of the students.
I could go on.

No one believes that there doesn’t have to be reform but there are other ways that are fair and provide opportunity for growth that we could use to measure teacher performance.
Yes everyone needs accountability but rather than looking for the negative let’s find a way to recognize the excellent teachers that are out there and at the same time motivate and encourage all teachers to grow.

As the saying goes you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

For me enough is enough. Let’s think about where we would all be today without the teachers we had and let’s stop bashing a profession of dedicated individuals and look for some real ways to make significant changes in the system.

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