Thursday, March 29, 2012

Holly Boffy is Wrong

Holly Boffy, a teacher turned politician has now come to the conclusion that the current discontent among teachers is really just a small minority disturbance caused by the "teacher unions". What a ridiculous politically motivated whine! I hope my readers can take the time to read the top story in The Education Week Teacher section this week. It is an account of the evaluation experience that the teachers in Louisiana will soon be subjected to. This Florida teacher likens her experience to Dante's rings of hell. Please read also the blog this week by Dianne Ravitch. She has some pointed remarks about what is now happening in Louisiana.

Ms Boffy is wrong! She has sold her soul to the non-educator "reformers" who would have the public believe that the under performance of many Louisiana students should be totally and permanently placed upon the shoulders of teachers. These reformers like White and Jindal talk about honoring and "empowering" teachers while they systematically dismantle both the profession and the public schools our children depend upon. The unions had nothing to do with these false charges against teachers. The unions had nothing to do with the claim that the present evaluation system does not rate enough teachers is unsatisfactory. The fact that one third of our students in Louisiana are performing below grade level is used as justification by the reformers that the new evaluation system must classify at least 10% of all teachers as "ineffective" each year. This is not an evaluation system, it is a purge designed to rid Louisiana of the imagined incompetent, lazy teachers that are holding our students back.

How will Ms Boffy and the other reformers feel when several years from now after many good teachers' careers have been destroyed, and the student scores will not have changed significantly? How will they feel when the voucher students and the charter students still continue to perform below grade level? How would they feel if a system labeled one of their own children as "below average"?  Surely it must still be the teacher's fault! Just fire this batch and get some new ones. Mark Twain once said "Tis sad but true, that half the American citizens are below average." In the heat of the education reform movement we have created a Lake Wobegon Effect where all of the children are supposed to be above average or by golly the teachers will pay!

I do not believe the average members of the public believe teachers are to blame for all the ills of society. But I also believe that the general public will not respect teachers if the teachers do not respect themselves enough to fight for their profession.

Please for the sake of the teaching profession, do not let this scare tactic about teacher unions or the "good teachers" verses the "bad teachers" distract you from fighting back. Please contact your legislators over and over again if necessary and plan on participating in the protest at the Capitol on April 4.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You asked how they will feel in a few years when scores have not changed significantly. They won't be in office anymore and someone will have to clean up their mess.