Monday, November 23, 2015

"I Take It Personally" - A Teacher's Response to a Governor

From The Washington Post's The Answer Sheet, a story about Indiana governor, Mike Pence,   remark that teachers "shouldn't take it personally" when their students' scores plummet because of a new state test.  One teacher, Donna Roof, a 30-year veteran teacher, answered back.  (In Indiana, teacher evaluations do use test scores although the Governor says that, given the test is new, they get a one-year reprieve.)
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.

1 comment:

seattle citizen said...

Yep. Pretty much spot-on on every point (nationally speaking; some points vary with location...but not by much...)