Saturday, November 21, 2015

Don’t Take It Personally...

By NEIFPE member Donna Roof.

So, Governor Pence, you recently told a teacher not to take the ISTEP results personally.

Well, actually, Governor…

When I see developmentally inappropriate education curriculum, I take it personally.

When I see students suffer from anxiety and other health issues due to pressure to pass high stakes tests, I take it personally.

When I see students subjected to an abundance of test prep, I take it personally.

When I see recess being cut to allow for more test prep time, I take it personally.

When I see children fearing they’ll be held back if they don’t pass a high stakes test, I take it personally.

When I see neighborhood schools being closed, I take it personally.

When I see fine arts classes and programs being cut to allow more time for test prep, I take it personally.

When I see students walking great distances on unsafe roads because there are no busses due to transportation cuts, I take it personally.

When I see no joy in learning and teaching due to the demands of tests, tests, and more tests, I take it personally.

When I see teachers with 40+ students in their classes, I take it personally.

When I see teachers without sufficient resources for their classroom, I take it personally.

When I see less funding for public schools, I take it personally.

When I see the outrageous amount of money being wasted on high stakes testing, I take it personally.

When I see children, teachers, schools, and districts labeled as failing due to test scores, I take it personally.

When I see more and more punitive measures assigned to public schools, I take it personally.

When I see highly effective teachers labeled otherwise due to test results tied to their evaluations, I take it personally.

When I see my Superintendent of Public Instruction being undermined, I take it personally.

When I see the lack of respect for public school teachers, I take it personally.

When I see individuals with no educational or teaching experience making decisions that affect students and teachers, I take it personally.

When I see teachers not being viewed as the experts of the classroom, I take it personally.

When I see all the harm being done to the teaching profession, I take it personally.

When you see that I am doing all that I can to ensure you are not re-elected, don’t take it personally.

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5 comments:

Bilgewater said...

Thank you very much for an excellent post. I tweeted this through 3 avenues: this blog post, Dr. Ravitch's website, and Valerie Strauss's article in the Washington Post.

Gov. Pence and the GOP supermajority have caused major wreckage in our state's schools. Let's keep the heat on them!

Kelly Sayers said...

As a community college professor, lawyer and citizen I wholeheartedly support Donna Roof’s message so elegantly articulated in her open letter which spoke “truth to power” addressing Governor Pence’s ridiculous remark about not taking the ISTEP results “personally.” Certainly the Governor’s obvious lack of insight concerning this issue reflects a failure by elected officials to adequately understand the challenges confronting educators. Perhaps there should be “high stakes test” one should pass to seek public office.

Renee Hargrove said...

Preach on, sister!
Education in this country is going in the wrong direction and I do not understand why the policy makers do not see it!

Anonymous said...

The very fact that they will give you a year to get scores up under a new test is clear proof that they KNOW you need time to teach the test itself and how to do the test, rather than using the time to really teach the kids. What a waste of valuable time in the classroom. There are some teachers out there who are not as skilled as we'd like them to be. Is this really the way to find that out and teach those teachers to improve their skills? Not on the backs of all kids. Thanks for this articulate article. It applies everywhere.

Shirley Lupton said...

I think they can delete the Core math program. I was always taught that if it isn't broken don't fix it! To many test and they want to tack on more. What a shame for others to think a teachers job is a breeze should walk in their shoes.