The Edu Talk blog is a Must Read!

‚ÄčThe Edu Talk The Edu Talk blog is one of the best blogs about what teaching I have come across. That is saying a lot coming from one who spends way to much reading about education policy and how it relates to (or interferes with) my teaching. As a teacher who occasionally blogs about such policies, I am truly in awe of this one.

The posts include everything I once aspired mine to embody. Truth to power is articulated comprehensively, eloquently, and viewpoints are powerfully supported with evidence from personal or collective experiences, or with linked references when appropriate.

My favorite topic addressed is the same one I write about – the demise of American schools with corporate privatization of public education through the demonization of teachers by placing entire blame on any perceived failing, when in fact, they have no control over decisions made on how schools are structured, the curriculum they use, the method of delivery, content standards, what gets funded, classroom size (the amount of English Language Learners, special education, etc.), student truancy, parent support at home, “college prep for all” courses being the only ones offered outside of a few SDC for severe disabilities, demanding UC entry requirements for high school diplomas, appropriate assessment criteria (determining if a student was successful for the year using one test score), use of high stakes testing, relevancy of questions such tests… OR ANY LOCAL, STATE, OR FEDERAL POLICY.

Where I spend hours trying to word short blog entries that end up rambling on, sometimes with sarcasm or bitterness like the above, The author matter of a factly states facts, or extremely thought provoking questions, that seem to flow fluently with such mastery of the English language.

My favorite so far is called, “Motives Matter” dated May 2011. Well worth reading if you are interested in education, like reading good blogs, have school age children, or think teachers alone should be “accountable” for the problems (real or perceived) and/or the measurement of every student’s learning should be assessed using one multiple choice test score by memorizing rote facts.

Rating doctors on healthy patients = teachers on state test scores

I read a comment in this article that compared evaluating teachers and doctors with the same “accountably” measures.

Teacher Development At Center Of New Center For American Progress Studies.

Rating doctors on how healthy their patients are is a perfect comparison since their patients many times come to them unhealthy in the first place.

It is the same thing as holding doctors accountabl e for how well their patients follow their medical advice or how many of their patients get cured of their ailments.

Doctors can’t force patients to lose weight or quit smoking any more than teachers can force some students to learn, or take those tests seriously or force their parents to support their child’s education (or change some of the factors that can affect low test scores like not speaking English, having a learning disability, or coming from a low socio-economic status).

‘Teacher Evaluation’ : Real Agenda Appears to Be School PRIVATIZATION

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The article from the Common Dreams website, by Gloria C. Endres, ‘Teacher Evaluation’: Real Agenda Appears to Be School Privatization is a must read for anyone interested in education in the slightest bit.

After much research over the years on this subject, I can attest to THIS IS WHAT IS BEHIND MOST EDUCATION REFORM AND THE “NEED TO IMPROVE” TEACHER EVALUATIONS.

The privatization of public schools (school-choice, voucher system, etc.) would have he most damning results on education. Don’t we have enough evidence what happens when a few billionaires control an institution? Turning education into corporate profit would only serve those who would make millions from this, NOT THE STUDENTS.

Read Michelle Rhee’s Wikipedia page (I checked all the references).

The Student’s First website makes it clear what their agenda is. Although they should be commended for their anti-bully and pro LGBT stance, that is where the students coming first stops.

(You may also want to read a piece Larry Strauss wrote for The Huffington Post called, Students First and Other Lies).

Since When Do Teacher Haters Make Up the Majority?

I hope I am not being naive but I can’t believe the things I read that members of my community post on articles or letters regarding anything education related on my local newspaper website or local message boards. Even articles hailing a certain school’s achievements or ones reporting upcoming public performances. Usually more than half of all the comments are “less than supportive” of public school teachers by describing us as tree-hugging, lazy, overpaid, unethical, “part-time”, and a complete waste of public money. Is it like this everywhere or do I just live in a conservative area? I realize that hating teachers is no different anywhere else but I don’t recall the number of people doing the bashing being the majority before. Has it always been like this and I just never noticed it?

I am more than tired of reading the incorrect information these extremists post too. It’s as bad as the propaganda you read about in college history text books. My favorite so far is, “…studies have repeatedly shown that reducing class size prove no benefit to test scores”. So not true. Every study I found after researching this, looking for what study this guy could possibly be talking about, shows nothing but the opposite. (Class Size Reduction Research) And by the way, with the public’s misconception about teacher’s unions, along with the blatent propaganda by exstremists about them, I would be EATEN ALIVE if I posted a CTA link as a source anywhere else except my own blog, lol. (I chose it because the page has link at the bottom that succintly summerizes many more recent results).

I realize that bashing and blaming teachers for all of society’s ills is nothing new but it seems like I see it soooooooooo much more in the past three months with all the media’s coverage on education budget cuts. I also realize that it comes from everywhere, not just conservatives. I questioned if was the area I live in because the onslaught of recent posts in my local newspaper website come from from the same people who disparage our “Socialist” president with Rush Limbaugh quotes. (Many more inaccurate or non-exsistant “studies” in those posts too).

The last time I noticed it being this common to use teachers as scapegoats for everything under the sun being this ridiculous was when CA had a (very expensive) “special” election during Schwarzenegger’s first year as Governor in California. Almost every proposition of his (all but two) had to do with new laws to keep public school teachers from continuing to cause most of California’s economic and social problems. The arguments in the written material were shocking as much as they unfounded and absurd. Not one of his propositions passed in this wasteful election but knowing he feels this way, I’m now thinking we shouldn’t be so surprised with his $15 billion dollar budget cut to California public education.

Speaking of, I need to go and prepare myself emotionally for the pink slip I will be getting today as well as find something pink to wear for “pink friday”. I leave begging all to not believe the incredible misinformation being spread out there about my profession. Teachers are some of the most dedicated, selfless people I have come across.