The New Accountability
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: The New Accountability
- From: MONICALUCIDO@comcast.net
- Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 00:30:03 +0000
- Cc: email@example.com
Sorry, all. I didn't even include my name.
Educators and Parents Against Test Abuse
-------------- Forwarded Message: --------------
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 23:18:42 +0000
> The New Accountability
> I sat down trying to think of something witty to say in order to start
> off this piece, but I couldn?t. Let me just say it straight from the heart then:
> teachers need to be more accountable to their profession.
> Now, before anyone gets upset by my use of this rhetoric, hear me out.
> In a recent article in the Fresno Bee, it was reported that Fresno Unified
> School District superintendent Michael Hanson was to get a 35% raise, thus
> upping his salary from $205,000 to $277,000 a year. He was also to receive a
> $35,000 ?bonus? for whipping the teachers into shape under a regime that
> supposedly has raised test scores. His total package, including benefits, has
> amounted to a whopping $336,700. The teachers themselves just got an 5.5% raise,
> but only after 3 years of negotiation and haggling that has left our community
> with concern. When the news came out in the paper about Hanson?s raise the
> response was raucous, to say the least. On average, six to seven letters a day
> were printed by the Bee from mostly teachers who were incensed by the
> outrageousness of the increase. These letters have continued to come in even up
> to this point, over a week later.
> Needless to say, I was shocked and angered by the raise, but something
> else got my ire too. It was this: Where have these people been? How is it that
> year after year of continual abuse by administrators, lawmakers, and the media
> for not ?raising test scores? for the almighty mandates of NCLB that these folks
> have NOT showed up to write letters in opposition of the law? Blocks have been
> taken out of kindergartens, hourly intrusions into the classroom on a daily
> basis have taken place, curricula have been manipulated, and expert decision
> making has been replaced with corporate experimentation. The solidarity to teach
> children humanely that once thrived in our profession is being pushed by the
> wayside, and the community's trust is going with it.
> Are the ?anti-unionites? right? Are we as an educational community
> focused so much on the financial disparities between ?us? and ?them? such that
> it appears teachers are greedy and only want a secure employment position? In
> Texas, out of 16,000 eligible employees who are tied to its performance pay
> program, which bases rewards on test scores increases, only 44 opted to not to
> take the money. Only 44! Nearly half in Denver are also accepting these types of
> incentives. What does this say about teachers? How could it be that they see the
> damage standardized testing does to kids, day in and day out, and yet not
> protect the innocent? The public has believed that many teachers agree with this
> stuff by their inaction, as they plug along in their rooms unwilling to put
> forth the effort to fight something abhorrent. Some teachers are selling their
> morals out big time and it needs to stop. Thus, I have some suggestions for the
> future generation of teacher education schools and current educa
> 1.) No teacher is to be granted their credential until they have taken a course
> on the history and development of the public education system in our
> country---including the research that shows who is trying to undermine it.
> 2.) Every teacher must sign a document and take an oath that if they ever feel
> the content and manner of teaching in which they are being asked to dispense is
> damaging to children, they are to stop immediately and seek support from others
> to change the conditions. Part of the document must also contain language that
> states teachers will not accept incentive pay for what is known to hurt
> children?s learning.
> 3.) Teachers unions must begin to address the need to protect the ?teaching
> rights? of its members from the invasion of corporate greed. If they can?t do
> it, allow teachers to form their own professional support system and get rid of
> the original union. Money cannot be the focus. Learning and teaching must be.
> I always read opposing views of education with relationship to mine.
> Neal Boortz, a political celebrity who is an enemy of public education, says
> that teachers unions threaten the future of this country. He cannot be allowed
> to be correct. The teaching community must realize that the sanctity of the
> learning compact between teachers, students, and parents is number one. Be
> accountable: protect it at all costs.
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