Certainly teachers can be part of the solution, but not so long as we, and the organizations that represent us, have been defined as the problem. It has taken me a long time to get to the point where I would write something as strong as this, because I have been trying very hard to connect and dialogue with this administration. But as I try to explain, we cannot connect when we have been defined as the source of the problem.
I do not think shameful mismanagement of urban districts is an adequate explanation for the systematic inequities we see in student outcomes. Issues like working conditions and the ability to attract and retain teachers in high needs schools are directly related to poverty and funding inequities. So we are back to this as a critical issue that must be faced.
When the “big bold idea” of the administration is to take funds that have historically been provided to correct inequity, and turn them into competitive grants, where we will have winners and losers, something is very wrong.
You may see this as polarizing, but when you are in a fight, it becomes necessary to frame the issues or they are framed for you. Teachers have been framed by NCLB since 2001, when GW Bush indicted us for the crime of the achievement gap. Duncan and Obama are continuing the prosecution, as we see with the continued demand to close schools and fire teachers.
Teachers can be part of the solution, but I refuse to continue to allow others to define the problems for us.
by: AnthonyCody | July 16, 2010 12:07 AM