Reason Number 1 On Why I Stopped Teaching

Posted on | April 19, 2011 | 5 Comments

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I have had a lot of email recently asking me if I would ever go back to teaching.  The short answer is HELL NO.

For the most part, I loved my students, my fellow teachers across the hall and of course, the number of days off.  But the allmighty TAKS test is what keeps me away for good.

Texas would need to do the following for me to even consider the idea of me going back to the classroom….

The first thing that absolutely must be done is to abandon the absurd notion that anything useful is gained from the current misuse of standardized tests. States, local boards and schools must simply refuse to take part in these tests. They are resulting in the destruction of schools, good administrators and good teachers while doing little or nothing to improve appallingly bad schools.

Perhaps the most aggressively dumb use of test scores is when the whole school score is used to evaluate individual teachers. In every school in America there are lizards who think that the way to teach is to make kids copy the textbook. In the same schools there are great teachers who break their backs everyday to see that their kids get the highest quality instruction. Yet those same great teachers have their evaluations graded down because some other loon next door can’t teach. This practice is demoralizing great teachers everywhere. The time has come for school administrators of courage and integrity to say this is one thing I will not do.

The time has come for intelligent administrators, teachers and governing agencies to stand up on their own two feet and say this is enough. Most important it is time for parents to say with loud voices “you will not do this to my child.” It is time for parents, teachers and everyone involved in schools to stage a rebellion in the voting booth. If a legislator or any government official insists on continuing the current use of standardized tests – vote them out.

Parents need to remind government officials that their children belong to the parents, not to the government.

I wish to concede one argument that school testing advocates will make. There are lousy public schools – many of them. However, standardized testing is not the way to determine the quality of a school. All anyone has to do is walk through the halls of any school in America to perceive the quality of a school.

The only intelligent use of standardized tests is to determine the growth of a single student over some reasonably extended period of time. Standardized tests of content should be used to gauge a childs’ growth in a discipline. That is the single use for any standardized test.

When Texas meets my demands mentioned above, then maybe I would go back.  But I am not holding my breath….

PH

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Comments

5 Responses to “Reason Number 1 On Why I Stopped Teaching”

  1. Reason Number 1 On Why I Stopped Teaching – Paralegal Hell
    April 19th, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

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  4. Momalegal
    April 19th, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

    Woo hoo, ya got a standing ovation from me! I’ve never been a teacher, but those standardized tests just don’t make any sense. Don’t even get me started on the voucher system in FL. If your school sucks on the test, we’ll give you a voucher to go to another school! Yeah, that will help. *eye roll*

  5. Another ParaLegal
    April 20th, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

    Where I live, the answer to failing schools seems to be to REZONE! Yes, lets move the less than motivated students to one of the four (out of twelve) schools that excells and move some of those students to the failing school to bring the scores up. So, for my area, another school bites the dust. Guess three out of twelve passing schools isn’t bad. WTF-ever! So glad my children are grown now…last one graduates in May!!!

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