Saturday, December 14, 2013
The Crisis in Public Education is Caused by Bad Policies, not Bad Teachers
Gates, Duncan, Broad et al say they want to attract more talented people to the teaching profession but they
1. Support teacher evaluation frameworks combine humiliating observation protocols (Danielson rubric) with scripted curricula (Common Core) and use of student test scores in such a way that the most talented veteran teachers are leaving the profession in droves.
2. Give financial support for an alternative certification program, Teach for America, that recruits talented undergraduates not to become teachers for life, but to spend two years in low performing schools en route to other careers, some in education, many not, which offer much more money and much more power.
3. Refuse to speak out against states and municipalities that are looting teacher pension funds, thereby telling teachers present and future, that their retirement security can be compromised every time there is a budget short fall.
The result of these policies- many of the best teachers leave; talented new teachers don't stay, and children across the nation are increasingly taught by people under the most severe stress-- and sometimes under a doctors care-- because they are scripted, micromanaged and treated with total disrespect.
There is indeed a Crisis in Public Education, but it is caused by Bad Policy, not Bad Teachers.
It is time to change course, and fast.