Responding to the ridicule of teachers and the teaching profession by politicians and self proclaimed "experts"!
"Where is Albert Shanker now that we need him?" - Walt Sautter

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Education A Through Z

As in days of old, when the new king was crowned, his first task was to dispose of the offspring of the former king and replaces them with his own. So it seems to be in Trenton and Washington.
With every new administration a new educational scheme, with an official sounding acronym, is concocted while the old one is exiled to a dusty basement file somewhere in the state’s or nation’s capitol.
Meanwhile, teachers and administrators scurry to conform to the new set of edicts and demands. The role of the school often becomes that of a test preparatory program and the sole goal of the teacher is to be sure that the students score well.
For example, way back in the seventies, we had “T and E” (Thorough and Efficient”), QEA in the 1980s (Quality Education Act), QSAC in the 2000s (Quality Single Accountability Continuum), NCLB in the 2000s (No Child Left Behind) and CCCS in the 2000s (Core Curriculum Content Standards). Additionally, we have endured a plethora of tests, again each with its own acronym designation ESPA, GEPA, HSPT and SRA.
Oh, and let’s not forget the “Open Classroom”. Although it wasn’t a test or an official state program it was a very popular educational scheme. Also, how about the current “Educational Reforms” and the additional proposed “Educational Reforms” of the present administration? They too, I think qualify as educational schemes.
There are a few questions that should be asked about the aforementioned.
“Have any of the programs helped in the education of our children?”
“Have any made the work of teachers and the schools more productive?”
“If any of the previous plans experienced any success why then are they continually replaced with new ones?”
The real question then is, “Does all this benefit the learning of the children?
Or are they politically and PR motivated?”
I don’t really know but I do wonder – a lot?
You probably have some other questions and ideas about this. Let’s hear them!

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