Friday, January 27, 2012

Bashed By Bush

  Somebody better get the restraints, because I am feeling the need to impale Former President Bush with a sharp object.

  My insanely hectic day yesterday was coming to a close.  I had poured all of my energy into teaching the 18 students in my kindergarten classroom.  We were flying high by the end of the day because 100% of my class has learned all the letters and sounds and are all learning to decode words. 100% of my class has now mastered addition skills.  And we are all well on our way to meeting all of our goals for kindergarten.  We have worked hard and steady so far this year and will continue to do so for the next four months.  Not because some law tells me I have to, but because it is MY job to establish the foundation my students need to be successful.

  So, at the end of my day, I was ready to reward myself with a hot bath and a good read.  I had been reading the book Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, but last night an article in Time Magazine caught my attention, so I picked it up instead.  The article was addressing the No Child Left Behind Law.  I was curious at what the article had to say.

  For those of you who have been living under a rock, I will give you a very brief overview of the law. Very brief.  Basically, ALL children should be able to perform on grade level in reading and math by the year 2014.  The law was signed 10 years ago and it set up goals for schools to progress toward meeting this goal.  Schools are suppose to get 100% of students reading on grade level.  100%! 

  Wow!  Can we say, fantasyland?  All children were not created to be able to read on grade level.  Some children were put on this earth for other purposes besides reading. There is nothing wrong with that. There are kids who excel at other things, but maybe they were never designed with the mental capacity to learn to read.  Ever. For some special kiddos, it just isn't possible. Some kids cannot even speak!  And the best part is that schools are held accountable for these kids and if they aren't making enough progress toward the goals, then the school is penalized financially.  Like that's gonna solve anything!

The law is so unfair!  Although the school I teach at has been meeting our goals so far, we all know that we won't be able to hold on much longer.  We will join the ranks of schools who haven't been able to make the required progress.  The 2014 goal isn't just hard to's impossible. 

 But anyway.....that's not why I want to poke Bush's eyes out.

  I am angry because of the statements he made in the Time article.  They made my blood boil.

He said, "If you're going to fund schools, like we've been doing for years, we in the federal government, ought to demand accountablility."

When asked why he thought people in both political parties were trying to weaken the law, his response was.....

"....Some are saying that it is unfair to teachers. People don't like to be held to account."

As if the teachers are complaining just because someone is looking at our test scores.  Like if it weren't for that dang accountablility issue, we would be riding the gravy train.

Yeah sure, Bush...that's why the law is unfair.  Because we teachers don't like to be held accountable.  You got it!

Or do ya think, maybe....just maybe.....that we teachers think it is unfair because the law is set up to ensure that 100% of schools in America fail?

I realize that this is a rant.

And that this is suppose to be a Mom blog.

But, I just happen to be a Mom blog who is also a teacher.

A teacher who feels passionately about her job and doesn't appreciate being bashed by former presidents.


jwalker2702 said...

I think you are so right, Jennifer. I homeschool my daughter, but that does not mean I am totally anti-school or teachers. One reason I choose to homeschool, is because, as wonderful as she scores on tests, she has ADHD, and it affects her abilities to keep up and get her work done on time. The teachers could not focus on her, because she was reading on a college level, in 7th grade, and the had to try and get everyone up to "standard", so as the principal put it she, "fell between the cracks" her "plan" was never followed, and because they were having to focus so hard on test scores, her grades were deteriorating due to not getting done on time, her modified plan not being followed. I know it was not the teacher's plan to do this to my child, but they were having to focus so hard on test scores, that they can not pay more attention to the other things in the class. I remember when we were in school, out teachers knew us, they knew our personalities, and what we could or could not do, and they focused on these things, and no it is impossible, with so many in a class, and to expect everyone to to perform the same. It is a shame, and I am so proud of my teacher friends like you, who do care and do wanna take the time to learn about your kids, I am just sorry you don't have the opportunity to, the way that you would really like. Thanks for being a good teacher.

A. E. said...

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