Thursday, April 22, 2010

Perhaps Our Invitation Was Lost In The Mail...

Or the dog ate it.  Something like that.

Yesterday's post about testing got a pretty strong response.  (And you know I loves me some comments...they are like crack for us bloggers you know.)   We are all horrified, disenchanted and beat down by many of the reforms that seemed to be thrown our way.  It kind of feels like we're the fan and the shit just keeps on hitting us, doesn't it?

Despite my resolution to Stay Positive in 2010 (which is preceded by a resolution to Stay Positive in 2009 and also 2008) (Clearly, I have some issues with this whole positivity thing, but any day now...), it has been hard to stay positive in the face of so much...well...bullshit.  So.  Much.  Teacher.  Bashing.

Today I read this blog posted on the Washington Post's Answer Sheet.  Basically, the author is saying that Obama should call an educational summit and invite "our most eminent educational leaders as well as teacher organization heads."

Hmmmm.....

I feel like we're missing someone....

Who could it be?  Who could it be?

Oh wait!  I know!  TEACHERS!!  Actual, real life, work with children, hold their pee for hours on end, responsible for learning TEACHERS.

And no, before you ask, the "heads of their organizations" alone are NOT ENOUGH.  Because if you are the "head of an organization", chances are that you are NOT IN THE CLASSROOM and haven't been in quite some time.  Like many who are outside of the classroom, there is the chance that these individuals may have COMPLETELY LOST TOUCH with the realities of classroom teaching.  (A quality I am clinging to with every fiber of my being.) 

I'm not saying that we should take their names off the list, I'm just suggesting that we round out the group a little bit.

If you read the whole blog post, the author redeems himself with the following:
"Measuring teacher performance is complex and difficult. We want teachers from different schools to cooperate, support each other, and share what’s working, not compete like corporations trying to do each other in."

He also talks about how ridiculous it is to fire a teacher based on student performance alone without considering factors such as poverty...you know, THAT.

Long story short, I am on an emotional roller coast with this author.  There are highs, there are lows.  He is super pro-charter school, I am pretty hard core public school although I can be swayed by those that have proven to be fair and successful.  And while I think he is right on the money with the ridiculous nature of many of these so called "Turn Around" reforms (turn around and they'll kick us in the you-know-where is probably more accurate), he definitely missed the boat, screwed the pooch AND hung himself out to dry when he forgot to invite teachers to the table.

We are wonderful guests.

3 comments:

NYC Educator said...

Well, it's always nice to come across things on the internet that are not insane. Thanks, Miss Mimi, for providing us with some. I'm overwhelmed lately by the sheer volume of crap that's out there. I'd hope a few of those writing it would read Diane Ravitch's book, shout "Eureka!" and confess their sins, or jump from tall buildings or something.

Alas, that day hasn't come yet. America's appetite for crap masquerading as journalism is as strong as ever.

TeachEnEspanol said...

I read the post yesterday and actually couldn't formulate a non-emotional response, so I gave up and just took everything in. I will say though, that all educational changes seem to lack that essential element (TEACHERS!!!) and, while we all seem to realize it, I for one would like to know how we go about insinuating ourselves into a place where our experience and opinions count for something.

Ms. MacKenzie said...

Well said. I also read this article. I worked in a charter (eh hem, alternative) school. These schools are quickly filling with those public school students who have been removed from the public school system for some serious behavioral issues.

Who's Peeking?