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Archive for August, 2010

Can teachers be accountable to themselves?

Well here’s a quagmire for you. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan was quoted in the Washington Post


“We want to hold you accountable for high standards” he said, “but give you the room to get there”…” Our job is support you” Duncan said.  “Our job is give you a chance to make a huge difference in children’s lives.”

Can teachers feel SUPPORTED when they are penalized directly for students’ test scores?  Where is the personal accountability in that? Where is the “CHANCE” for teachers in that? Do test scores = high standards?

The Secretary is giving it everything he has to “take reform show on the road” but it’s not a road show and there is no magic bullet to educational reform.

Teaching reform begins with teachers feeling they are not pawns in a political game. Making a difference in children’s lives is what matters. How do we get there without demanding that teachers as well as administrators fix it all and then penalize them if they don’t?

What might happen if we encouraged teachers to be accountable by examining their teaching with the support of colleagues?

Things that are most worthwhile do take time.

They especially necessitate that we are honoring and supporting the work that teachers are/ and CAN DO through reforming in the first person through a self-study of their practice.