Sunday, June 13, 2010

Funny, funny, funny....

I was in the middle of putting together a bunch of reviews of what I recently had read in the media, when one particular article and a reply by a liberal teacher were so amazing that I had to drop everything else and publish my comment. It simply could not afford to wait.

Here is the story. The State of Colorado made draconian changes to the school rules. Namely - the teachers will be held accountable for their performance. What a shame! The exact details are given here:
The new law requires teachers to be evaluated annually, with at least half of their rating based on whether their students progressed during the school year. Beginning teachers will have to show they've boosted student achievement for three straight years to earn tenure. 
Teachers could lose tenure if their students don't show progress for two consecutive years. That won't be a possibility until 2015, however, because lawmakers slowed down the process under political pressure from the teachers' union. Teachers can appeal dismissal all the way to the state Supreme Court, and school districts have the burden of proving why they should be terminated.
And, as anyone would imagine, the liberals were understandably saddened by this vicious attack on teachers' dignity. Democratic Rep. Nancy Todd, a 25-year teacher who opposed the measure had this to say before she broke into tears: "I don't question your motives. But I do want you to hear my heart because my heart is speaking for over 40,000 teachers in the state of Colorado who have been given the message that it is all up to them."

This woman must surely have a gigantic heart - or, what is even more realistic, Aliens have transformed her heart into a magical receiver of human emotions. Moreover, it is fine tuned to teachers' emotions - because the emotions of parents of hundreds of thousands of failed and under-educated kids are out of its range. It also comes with speakers - which I believe is a needless luxury.

But what I particularly cherished was the comment from one of the readers of this article - a reaction not just to the article and the law, but also the comments from other readers. Here is the reply that left me speechless for about 5 seconds if you don't count my giggling.

Obviously none of you teach. Rewarding or punishing teachers based on student performance is unfair. You can put the best teacher in the world in front of a class who does not care about learning (not hard to do today) and the kids will not learn. Put the worst teacher in the world in front of a class that is motivated, and the kids will learn.
The problems with education today are unmotivated students and absentee parents.
But it is easier to blame teachers.
This reply is a treasure just waiting to be shown to the world. The first thought that popped into my mind was obvious - if teacher performance is irrelevant to children's education - lets close all university departments of education, fire all teachers and hire instead people from fast food restaurants. After all - if teacher quality makes no difference - why do we need to invest money into teachers? Why high salaries, great benefits, and huge pensions? It was all a scam from beginning to end, and this teacher is honest enough to say so. No wonder teachers have the worst scholastic test results in America!

The second thought was a tad more intellectual. Granted, this poor woman was too depressed to express herself correctly. By all means attacking a liberal school teacher for stupid statements is unsportmanlike behaviour, it's like shooting fish in the barrel. In real life, there are plenty of relatively smart people who repeat same arguments - that taxpayers should not assess the quality of teachers' work by the performance of the children. But this literally begs the question - how else can a taxpayer find out the quality of teacher's performance? It would be remarkable to imagine that teachers would be the only profession that is not rewarded (or punished) for performance - and the final product of teacher's work is children's education.

I fully realize that teachers feel reluctant to have their careers determined by how well little Jimmy (let alone Juan or Laquisha) can read, write and do arithmetic - but contrary to popular belief, taxpayers don't pay mind boggling amounts of money (more than a trillion dollars total annually) so that teachers' first priority would be to explain 100 fastest methods on how to put on a condom if you live in a society controlled by evil white corporatist structure. And this exactly why the taxpayers want some accountability from the public education complex - and it should not surprise anyone that there will be a lot of push back. But as someone said long time ago - When you’re catching flak, you’re on target. But I am consistently amazed at the stupidity of the people who are shooting at us.

2 comments:

Silverfiddle said...

I'm glad to see this is getting wider play than just here in Colorado.

Another politician-teacher made a comment to the effect of "garbage in, garbage out," basically using an unfavorable to metaphor to describe students. That didn't go over well either.

As usual, favorable and biased media coverage is all that has saved these liberal locusts disguised as teachers.

Christopher said...

Trust me, this brand of 'thinking' is not limited to Colorado.

And Hyphenated I must take you to task on your choosing the title of this post, funny? No.

Sad or pathetic, very much so.