‘It doesn’t matter how my students learn best.’
The comments on this article are actually more interesting than the article itself. There are a couple of things I would like to add to what I have already seen.
First, I think that we are doing a disservice to our children by not implementing standards-based education correctly. Too many people are not focusing on the days lost by children who are “learning” from fear-filled teachers that the only way to succeed is to pass a standardized test.
Second, that scripted curricula is becoming more common is indicative of a collective lack of confidence in teachers to be professionals in their approach to teaching. After all the training and experience in the classroom, teachers are still not considered professionals and we must investigate why that is the prevailing opinion and correct the misconception.
Third, relying on test scores and data-analysis is the quick-and-dirty solution to a complex problem that ultimately comes down to an obvious fact: kids (and humans in general) cannot be standardized. Get over it, administrators. The only way to truly gauge a teacher’s effectiveness is to examine the results child-by-child. The data on the screen might be an indication, but it’s only the very first step. High level administrators have to trust their subordinates to know how to evaluate a teacher, evaluate a situation with a student, and report the facts. Train administrators to do that part of their job better. Stop relying on quick fixes to a problem. There is no quick fix.
And by the way – how bad is the “problem,” really? And is the “problem” teacher effectiveness OR the lack of parity among districts? Why are we still not offering the same quality materials, quality infrastructure, and quality education to ALL students, regardless of their socioeconomic status? Why, in this country, are we still spending in all the wrong places? Why is education funding among the first to be cut by fiscal conservatives who then lament the state of our education system?
Address the real problems and I believe that kids will be happier in school, will learn deeply and take those lessons to their adult lives, and teachers will discover their vocation again.
See on www.washingtonpost.com