Monday, May 11, 2015

When Veteran Teachers are Called "Developing"- The Orwellian Language of School Reform

All around the country, the story is the same. Numbers crunching administrators and evaluators, some who have never taught or only taught a few years, go into the classrooms of teachers who have inspired students for decades, mark a few things off on a checklist, and then, after consulting student test scores, assign them labels- "Beginning" "Developing" "Ineffective"- which erase a lifetime of achievement. Beyond the humiliation, beyond the destruction of careers, lies a contempt for history which is the hallmark of all dictatorial regimes. Whether you do it to an individual or an entire population, erase their past and you can more easily destroy their humanity. Such has been wreckage of lives and reputations registered by what is euphemistically called "School Reform," whose excesses are still going on unchecked. Inevitably, cruelty to teachers  leads to cruelty to children, which the Opt Out movement is trying to address. But even if Opt Out succeeds, it won't be able to restore the jobs and reputations of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of veteran teachers, unfairly humiliated and forced out of the profession they loved.When