Thursday, May 07, 2009

Teacher Accountability

I finally finished that year long (YEAR LONG) teacher mentoring class this week. Oh my holy hell - that was a long one. It now means that I am able to guide student teachers through the rigors of classroom teaching without a pay raise - just a $50 stipend before taxes.

During one of last class discussions, it was noted by one of our facilitators that nearly 49% of our county's teachers exceeded standards on the performance instrument. She said if that were really true, our county would have met the AYP. It took a while for me to let that sink in. If you like, I'll let you all think about it, too.

Go ahead. See if you come to the same conclusion I did.

If you follow her logic, you will come to the conclusion that student success is largely based on teacher performance. If that is true, then our large school district should be fine because nearly half of our teachers have exceeded standards. Only 1% were placed on some kind of remediation plan. Apparently, we have some fine teachers here. (And please don't start in with me on how hard it is to get rid of bad teachers. That's not my point.)

Once I thought about that, I realized she left out some very important people in the equation: the students and their parents. Just because I exceeded standards doesn't mean I have all the answers and all the tricks to get every child in my care to exceed standards, too. I need each one of them to buy into the idea that their education is just that: their education. I can preach, cajole, cry, beg, wheedle, poke, and prod all day long, every day, for 180 day. But if the kids don't do their jobs, and the parents don't do theirs, how do you think I'm supposed to do mine?

What surprises me most is that this teacher drank the kool-aid. I am more surprised that she is espousing this idea than anything else. Let the public think this is all my fault; let parents shirk their responsibilities. But for a colleague to publicly tell teachers that it is all our responsibility is more than I can fathom.

Could the apocalypse be far off?

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Blogger T said...

I find it very sad that so many assume it's a teachers fault when a kid doesn't do well.

I have 2 lovelies....and it's MY job to motivate them, cajole them or downright threaten them if they aren't performing well in school. I expect the teachers to teach, but it's my job to make sure my kids are in school, ready to learn.

Thank you for all your hard work - teachers are a huge population of unsung heros in my book!

12/20/2009 7:44 AM  

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