Today, the Las Vegas Review-Journal ran a letter from a teacher about standards and testing. It was both touching and practical. Her story ends like this:
Let’s get back to studying science, teaching cursive writing, the stock market, great literature and history, and a remarkable thing will happen: Teachers will love to teach again and students will be a bit uncomfortable. They will stretch, be nervous and learn determination. Then, ten years later, they will still remember the requirements of an assignment that changed their lives and share it with their aging teacher.
I sent her an email thanking her for this letter. Wise words as we start a new school year.
An article in last Friday’s Las Vegas Review-Journal was called, “School district fails to meet ‘No Child’ goal.” Apparently, the culprit behind our city’s epidemic academic failures is obvious to the media: blame the teachers!
Gee, why didn’t they call it “Local students fail to meet ‘No Child’ goal,” since they’re the ones who actually failed the tests? Or how about, “Local parents fail to meet ‘No Child’ goal,” since they’re the ones who have failed to raise more studious children?
Where are the headlines that say, “Doctors fail to meet heart disease goal” or “Clergy fails to meet Sabbath keeping goal?” Aren’t those professions also responsible for the private choices of their constituencies, or is it only teachers who magically control what other people do with the tools and information they offer?