This is not a public education blog…but I am a public educator and teaching is one of the many things that defines me. I’m learning to cope with (public) educational turmoil my remembering what I’ve done (and still do) for children, and focusing on my larger role as a teacher — teaching carving, ukulele, letterpress to my larger community.
I often get to talk to folks not in education about public education. Most seem to understand the ridiculous state of things, but they keep supporting and voting for the politicians that have put us here.
I recently explained some difficult situations that I face within my school to a friend of my mother. She responded that I didn’t understand and clearly not seen a recent article about a successful young teacher in an urban school. My 30ish years of first hand experience is trumped by an article in the paper that supported her vision of my job.
Every school where I’ve been staffed diod a superior job of educating children before the current reforms reached them. We had more fun (Yes that’s first on my list!) and learning was more relevant (Relevant experiences are the key to successful education.) before politicians and business folks decided to apply quantitative assessments (standardized tests) to what we do.
No standardized test can measure joy. No standardized test can measure intrinsic motivation. No standardized test can measure the changes that a socially aware class can affect upon its community. No standardized test can measure a student’s ability to think independently.
Because of this, most of the great things in education are being squeezed out.
I understand a call for accountability. I understand wanting to ensure that every child is learning.
My intention here was to introduce a relevant article from Education Week Blogs. Here it is:
Turmoil Seems to be Chief Product of Education “Reform”By Anthony Cody on December 1, 2011 11:52 AM
When something keeps on appearing as a byproduct of an activity, eventually you might begin to wonder if perhaps the byproduct is actually the objective.
The one result that education reform efforts seem to have in common is turmoil in our schools, especially those where there is high poverty. Let’s take a look at the strategies being employed, and what they are yielding:
Read the remainder here: