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Bennie52491
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Bennie52491
posts: 287

Did any one here about D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee firing 165 teachers Friday, because of the students’ low test scores in reading and math? I was flabbergasted when I heard the news. The best way for a child to learn is to have support from not only the teachers but from the parents. Why should all the work be put on the teachers when some parents do not take the initiative to get involved in their child’s education? I’m so glad I’m not in grade school anymore. I remember when my teacher had to cram many lessons in a day to prepare the class for similar pointless tests. What do you guys and gals think about this ?

posted about 4 years ago
Kittany
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Kittany
posts: 36

I think its kind of drastic! Teachers have some responsibility, but not all! I did well in school with a little encouragement from my family… in fact sometimes I wish they had encouraged me more because I never pushed myself very much until I reached college and that could have been one step ahead of the game. I really think that everyone involved in a child’s life needs to encourage them to grow and learn. One person can’t do it alone for sure.

Firing teachers is not necessarily the answer. They need to figure out why students aren’t performing well. However, teachers should be evaluated as well because tenure can be a good and bad thing as far as a district keeping/aquiring the best teachers. I’m just not sure termination over test scores is the best solution. All in all, it’s a tough situation. There are so many factors, I suppose, that can go into a parents involvement with their child’s education and the children that need it the most might not be able to get that kind of guiding support from anyone but their teacher. Makes me sad that things can be that way.

posted about 4 years ago
 
Bennie52491
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Bennie52491
posts: 287

My family was involved in my education and they always supported me , even when they didn’t necessarily agree with my choices . It saddened me to know that not everybody has that support.My family loves me unconditionally and puts me first and I appreciate it but it gets harder for me to enjoy it. Nowadays I see parents in my neighborhood yelling at their kids all the time. I remember I was in my lobby and this little boy was playing with the door, he looked about 5 or 6 yrs old.The mom got annoyed with the noise the door was making so she said something like, could you stop I don’t even know why your alive.The look on his face broke my heart. I totally agree there are a lot of factors that cause a child to do poorly and I think most of those reasons start at home. On the college level I totally agree with you. I had a tenure teacher who was really laid back. I did learn something but I had to take the initiative to teach myself.He would give like 7 bonus points on a test every time his favorite sports team won a game. It was weird to see that he had so much freedom to do what he wanted with curriculum.

posted about 4 years ago
 
MurasakiNeko
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MurasakiNeko
posts: 1057

On the one hand, I can understand that school systems and governing boards need some way of holding teachers accountable for their work. Sometimes teachers become complacent and lazy and there needs to be some way to keep only the best and most professional teachers in the schools so that the students don’t suffer for it.

Standardized test scores are one of the easiest ways for school boards to evaluate a teacher’s competence. However, those tests are deeply flawed. You hear all kinds of horror stories about how they are biased so that minorities, ESL students, and students of low socioeconomic background do not do as well on them. If you are a teacher in a poor or very diverse district, your students’ test scores will probably be lower, and most of that will have very little to do with how good of a teacher you are.

I really wish teacher evaluations were based on more than these tests. The No Child Left Behind standards are frankly bullshit and penalize the poorest districts by taking away funds to “punish” schools that are doing poorly precisely because they have limited funds in the first place! And teachers are “punished” for teaching in at-risk districts, at the schools that need them most. Even though they are working hard to catch the students up, the only thing that matters to the boards is whether the students pass— not how much they improve. It’s a terrible, terrible system.

Plus I agree that teachers often become scapegoats for things which are not their fault. They play a very important role in education, but even when they are working their hardest they can only do so much. We say “it takes a village” to raise a kid, and I think that’s true. Successful students usually come from families that support their education. Parents are often just as important as teachers to students’ success— if not even more! I mean, I went to an awful high school, but I went on to do well at a good college because my parents were always supporting me and pushing me to succeed.

And now what I’d like to know is . . . Are they going to hire “better” teachers to replace these 165? (And how will they know they are “better”?). The thing about firing teachers is they are usually replaced with less experienced teachers who take some time to get up to scratch. Either that, or the students are crammed into remaining teachers’ classes, and everybody suffers because there are too many students for one teacher to effectively teach. The district is cutting off its nose to spite its face.

posted about 4 years ago
 
Bennie52491
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Bennie52491
posts: 287

http://discardedlies.com/entry/?55405_dc-schools-fire-241-teachers-over-poor-results
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/18/AR2009061803844.html

There is an article I read but couldn’t find.

posted about 4 years ago
 
Catherinee
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Catherinee
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There’s an article about this in Reader’s Digest. 1) I know that’s not the most credible source, 2) I acknowledge that standardized tests are usually not a very good means of judging whether or not teachers are “good enough.”

…but, as a student still in a US public school, I sort of see the “other side.” I don’t think that teachers are totally responsible for poor test scores, but I’ve had teachers who are completely incompetent. I suppose that sounds mean, but it shouldn’t. I’m trying to learn, and when the teachers are more concerned about the students’ high school drama than any material, I think there’s a problem. I guess there’s a certain balance between connecting with students and maintaining credibility, but I suppose that’s a different issue.

Anyway, I don’t know too much about unions or anything of the sort, but I do know from in-class discussions (mostly during a few months this previous school year when the teachers didn’t have contracts) that it’s rather difficult for teachers to be fired even for poor performance or even something such as sexual harassment. I wouldn’t say this is entirely the case in my school district (there’s been a few instances in which teachers have resigned instead of being fired), but I haven’t heard of any case where the teacher was fired for “poor performance.”

Frankly, I think it’s something to consider on the basis of individual schools and classrooms rather than something as general as standardized tests.

posted about 4 years ago
 
GirlinthePaperDress
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GirlinthePap...
posts: 92

I come from the same persepective as Catherinee, I just graduated from U.S. public school and was in the system since Kindergarten. There are some teachers that are just unable to teach.

In 9th grade I had a science teacher who was brilliant, but she was the worst teacher I ever experienced. She taught nothing, didn’t know how to control a class, and triend to be the student’s friend instead of their teacher. The only reason I learned anything is because I would read the book while everyone else was goofing off. (She ended up resigning, but she taught for three years too long, hundeds of students learned nothing because no one would fire her.

Truthfully, most students don’t open a book and learn by themselves. They take a que from the teacher and act accordingly. And many parents don’t take an active role in their child’s education, the state has been put in charge of that. So it’s the state’s job to ensure a proper education for all, and if a teacher is in the way of that, fire them. Education is so important, why jepordize it?

I think everyone should work to preform at a certain standard and if you aren’t preforming up to par, you get fired. That’s the way the capitalist society works, like it or not. Why should teachers be held to another standard.

That being said, there are many great teacher’s I’ve had in public schools, and they aren’t getting fired because they are doing their jobs, teaching and inspiring students to learn. They are the creme of the crop and shouldn’t get draged down by useless teachers.

posted about 4 years ago
 
MurasakiNeko
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MurasakiNeko
posts: 1057

It’s not the firing of poor teachers that’s the problem. It’s using an unproven or flawed system, like national testing, to determine who is a poor teacher.

posted about 4 years ago
 
ladidadi
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ladidadi
posts: 367

Standarized testing can be easily manipulated by teachers to their benefits. The teachers who teach to the curriculum and just what the curriculum calls for can get better scores than others who teach the material, but not specifically exactly what the standarized tests look for. Probably some of the teachers fired were subpar, but other standards should be used to judge teachers. Also, the students in their classes may have been subpar to begin with, and maybe they improved a bit, but were still subpar. I’m not certain of the details of this situation, but I wonder if they weighed the improvements made by students when they started firing the teachers.

posted about 4 years ago
 
UnForGettable323
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UnForGettabl...
posts: 386

My cheerleading coach just got fired from my school because of budget cuts and because she can’t teach she can’t cheer :( it’s so sad too because it’s my senior year and everything

posted about 4 years ago
 
Bennie52491
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Bennie52491
posts: 287

I love reading everyone’s point of view. For GirlinthePaperDress I don’t agree that the state should have to do a parent’s job. Learning starts within in the home. A teacher and the state can only do so much. Your morals,ethics and point of view are based not only on what your taught by society. Its based on what your taught and observe in your household. When kids aren’t encouraged to learn by their own families that’s what endangers a child’s education. So if there ever came a time where the child did have a bad teacher he/she could report it to a parent and the parent should take the issue up with the school.

posted about 4 years ago
 
kirstielove
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kirstielove
posts: 12

This is the governments way of trying to dumb down the masses so they can control us. Its unbelievable to me that students out of high cant get into colleges in there hometowns. Im from california and a school thats 10 minutes from my house is no longer accepting applications. Community colleges are over capitacity and still squeezing more students into these schools. You see how reality tv has become our reality. No picks up books anymore and reads. All the great books are being turned into movies that are eccential waterdowned garbage. Where is the susbstance that is so obviously missing in our everyday live. Its sad that when budget cuts occur school and art programs are the first thing hit. The world has way to much money to be in debt. There creating fear in people as a whole so they can control. You cant believe the lie. Research and find answer for yourself or else you will become a mindless slave.

posted about 4 years ago
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