Alfie Kohn‘s latest article in The Huffington Post, “What Passes for School Reform: ‘Value-Added’ Teacher Evaluation and Other Absurdities,” is worth reading and sharing with your colleagues and your social network. I just posted in twitter and to my Facebook page. The article’s hyperlinks lead readers to more information on a variety of topics (e.g., “merit pay” to “teacher tenure” to “turnaround models”) that people are buzzing about. The hyperlinks are well-worth reading since they provide more information for you to have conversations, with people who are in and out of the field of education, about education reform that makes sense.
Many statements get me fired up! The get me fired up because I know it is a reality in with our teachers who are working as hard as they can.
1. “But there are far more good teachers who are being turned into bad teachers as a direct result of these policies.” Many good teachers hands are tied and they can’t do what they know really works in education. They are so busy being accountable to allow real learning and teaching to happen. It seems that the diagnostic approach with accountability is for teacher to be on the same page at the same time in the classroom. We give common assessments, benchmark testing, and test our kids to death. I know teachers who give daily cold text reads in order to prepare them for the big high stakes text in May. It is a shame! We are growing a culture of bad teachers.
2. “Once the people who do the educating have been excluded from a conversation about how to fix education, we end up hearing mostly from politicians, corporate executives, and journalists.” Even in South Carolina, our two candidates for governor knows exactly how to fix education in South Carolina. They are both going to save us. Arne Duncan is going to merit pay us and fire all the bad teachers even the ones the system has been creating for years. Once all the newspapers around the country follows the lead of the LA Times and post how my kids did on the High Stakes test and every teacher around the countries classroom test scores, it will save us from all the bad teachers. We will at least know who they are. I bet in most states around the country voters will be casting a vote for public education because politicians, corporate executives, and journalists know how to fix the problem.
I will stop now, but read the article………
Don’t be shy, say something!!!!!