Thursday, March 24, 2016

Most Important Issues on Education Survey Left out of News Story

Will Sentell, in this article continues his campaign to filter and manipulate the news to fit his pro-corporate reform agenda. Sentell focuses on the public's lukewarm support for charter schools instead of reporting that the survey found that most citizens really like their public schools and do not agree with the present system of blaming teachers for student performance. In fact, teacher quality was one of the least of citizen's concerns revealed by the survey. (Click here for the full survey report by the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication) The survey of 1,000 Louisiana citizens showed that most  want teachers to have better salaries and to have more support on discipline instead of being harassed based on student test scores.

When asked what was their most important concern about public schools, the largest number of citizens responded that school funding and teacher salaries was their number one priority. Their second priority was student discipline and a safe school environment. That's the same thing we find when we survey teachers. Yet our department of education, in their continued zeal to punish teachers over student test scores never does a single thing to help teachers with discipline and to protect students and teachers from dangerous individuals. Studies have shown that the disrespect of teachers by students and some parents is one of the major factors in teachers leaving the profession.

Advocates of corporate reform such as state superintendent, John White, continue to focus instead on issues that the public does not care about! Those include privatization of schools using charters and vouchers and the assumption that some children do not perform in school as well as expected because they are being held back by lazy or incompetent teachers. For years they have predicted that if we could just put excellent teachers in every classroom, that all students would start performing on grade level and above. Unfortunately no one has been able to prove this theory even on a limited basis. Somehow, no matter how many TFA miracle workers we place in front of our classrooms, students who come from struggling low income families on average, still continue to perform at the bottom of the rankings. So maybe reformers need to readjust their ideology?

It looks like the average citizens have a much better grasp of the real problems in education than do the highly paid gurus of reform. Instead of trying to shame and blame teachers for all the ills of society, the general public would like instead for us to support them on classroom discipline and pay them a salary at least closer to their value to society.


Anonymous said...

Any news on some going to Baton Rouge yesterday to complain about what they consider to be the unconstitutional changes made to our health care?

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