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Why We Are Losing So Many Dedicated, Experienced Teachers

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Author: dianeravitch

Teachers have been the “collateral damage ” of the so-called reform movement. The reformers’ false claims and teacher-bashing is taking a predictable roll of some of the most talented teachers while discouraging young people from entering the profession.

This article explains why so many teachers are discouraged and how reformers disguise their nefarious intentions with lies.

Dora Taylor, parent activist in Seattle, writes:

“The self-designation of “reformer” by people who have never been in the classroom and have no actual training or experience in education is a smokescreen. What they are really after is profitability for their investor-owned charter school corporations that will deliver as little education for the buck as they think they can get by with.

“The public schools are losing well-qualified and experienced teachers who have made a commitment to our communities and dedicated themselves to teaching our children and and yet we are losing them in large numbers. Why?

“There are many reasons but for the most part has to do with the phrase “Education Reform”.

“The term encompasses charter schools and who teaches in those schools, the Common Core Standards, high stakes standardized testing, as well as the failed idea of merit pay for teachers….

“The teachers union is getting bombarded from two sides right now. First, by billionaires who would rather not see any unions in our country such as the Koch brothers, the Walton’s and corporate backed ALEC and from the other side by charter school enterprises who would love to have certified teachers but don’t want to pay a decent wage to hire them.

“With Race to the Top we had schools closing based on test scores and then many converted into charter schools and folks like Broad-backed Michelle Rhee who fired several hundred teachers, most of them minority women, basically on a whim.

“Then you have Common Core Standards and a battery of standardized tests, which make it difficult for a teacher not to teach to a test and thereby narrow their curriculum. This takes a lot out of a teacher who loves teaching, gets excited about their prepared curriculum, which is designed not only in terms of standard expectations but also to the students they are teaching. It destroys any creativity on the part of the teachers and students and makes teaching and learning a rote and tedious daily routine.”

Brett Dickerson of Seattle writes:

“For the last ten years now, a steady drumbeat of trash talk about teachers has made its way into the public comments about education. Experienced teachers are portrayed as lazy and incompetent, incapable of teaching students in any kind of adequate way.

“Teachers unions are pointed out as a telling sign that teachers know that they are no good and need “job protection” with tenure laws.

“None of these statements accurately portray the quality of teaching or the actual situation of most students who graduate from public schools. Why would these be circulated so widely?

“Not “education reformers”, but school raiders

“To understand the teacher brain drain we have to get the reality of what passes as “education reform” in the press and media. True reformers want to engage those who have the most experience in the classroom and in leading teachers as administrators.

“To achieve reform, there must be a collaboration and engagement of those who know what needs to be reformed the best. But that’s not what is going on, is it?

“That’s because those who call themselves “education reformers” usually are not. Instead they are those who want only to raid public funds taken by force as taxes and then converted to the wealth of investors who do not care about your children, only their own.

“The self-designation of “reformer” by people who have never been in the classroom and have no actual training or experience in education is a smokescreen. What they are really after is profitability for their investor-owned charter school corporations that will deliver as little education for the buck as they think they can get by with.”

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