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Posts Tagged ‘merit pay’

Please take a few moments and read the following blog post.  This is one of the most poignant things that I have read about reform in the public education system.

Why Teacher Bashing is Dangerous by Stan Karp or you can listen to it here

I am a teacher.

I am a mother.

I care what happens to our nation’s children.

Indiana is passing laws that will change the shape of our educational system.

I weep as a teacher, as a mother, and as a member of the community.

Our educational system has it’s flaws, but overall, it’s been a pretty good system.  We provide a free and appropriate education for ALL learners, from the most advanced children to children with limited mobility and severe disabilities.  Public education seeks to educate all children regardless of their color, race, religion, or ability to pay.

Can we make improvements?  Certainly.  Can you improve the way you do your job?  Yep.

I will tell you this.  I know very few lazy teachers that don’t give a hoot about students.  In the seven buildings I’ve worked in during my teaching career, I can think of only one teacher that had given up on his students.  EVERY one of the teachers in my current building care an awful lot about our students.  We are giving our all everyday.  We didn’t go into teaching for the money.  We went into teaching to make a difference.

Merit pay will not change the way I teach students.  It won’t change the way my colleagues teach students.  We are already doing our best, and continually improving.

The teachers I know collaborate and worry about students.  They compare notes to find out what’s working and what’s not.  We share materials and give new teachers a helping hand to pull them up into the ranks of good teaching practices.

I weep about the upcoming changes as a teacher and concerned citizen.

We’ve worked really hard in the last 60 years to provide a free and appropriate education for all.  We have integrated schools.  We have places in our public schools for children that 50 years ago would have been institutionalized.  Title I provided extra funds to provide special reading services like Reading Recovery which gives students the extra boost that they should have gotten at home.   We have vocational programs to get kids the skills they need for blue collar jobs when they graduate.  In the past, our educational system created well-rounded students.

This is an issue of social justice.  We must educate all students to create productive citizens.

We are about to lose all of the ground we have gained with new legislation.

The movement toward privatizing our school system will only widen the gap between the haves and have nots.

I weep about the upcoming changes as a parent.

I want my children to have exposure to the arts.  I want my children to be inspired by caring teachers.

Caring teachers are growing weery of the lack of respect from the media, from parents, and from the students.

Teachers are smart and caring people that do a job most others wouldn’t ever want to do.  They need our support and encouragement or we are going to lose the most valuable asset in our children’s lives.  These teachers are even more valuable in the lives of children that have no one at home to inspire them.

To quote Stan Karp:

What’s at stake is more basic: Whether the right to a free public education for all children will survive as a fundamental democratic promise in our society, and whether the schools and districts needed to provide it are going to survive as public institutions.

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