School policy and educational policy are two very hot topics in the United States at this time. There are many reasons why and I don’t have to say much more than testing or accountability to name a few. However, before I begin I will say a large part of the controversy is the white OR black that everyone paints as the opposite. This is not any different from politics. No matter what side of the aisle you are on, the other side is evil and full of hypocrites. It is easy and convenient to paint with one color. It becomes much harder when you allow blending of colors. Hell, the colors don’t even have to blend. Some people can be all black in one area and all white in another. Very few things are black OR white.
After reading through the comments at Dean Shareski’s Ideas and Thoughts about Michelle Rhee, I came across another post that has me confused and is a perfect example of the “black OR white” I am talking about. That would be a post titled “Top 10 Reasons Why Teaching Jobs Based on Test Scores is a Bad Idea“. I take issue with a few of the reasons.
9. Teaching jobs based on test scores will attract only the most desperate teachers to the poorest schools.
Wouldn’t poorest schools be where you would want to go? If I was getting a bonus for raising scores, why would I want to go someplace that isn’t going to grow? It’d be like taking over for Pete Carroll at USC, that’s going to be a tough job. However, a “poor” school would have room to grow. Higher chance of a bonus for me! Raising the scores wouldn’t be easy, but I refuse to believe it cannot be accomplished.
7. Teaching jobs based on test scores will decimate teamwork and collaboration among teachers.
Really? Why? If I can help out a teacher and collaborate with them to become more efficient, shouldn’t I do that? Collaboration and teamwork should be improved in a place that rewards for higher test scores. Educators struggle with collaboration now because there is very little incentive to do anything different. Put a little pressure on those who are not improving and they will be more than happy to collaborate.
5. Teaching jobs based on test scores will further poison the educational climate in schools that is now almost unbreathable.
By challenging our teachers? We ask our students to accept challenges everyday, we should demand the same from our teachers. If challenging our teachers to change and do something different is poison, sign me up.
2. Teaching jobs based on test scores will extend the view of children as raw material to be exploited for their monetary worth.
Once again, really? Improving test scores exploits our students!
It’s really clear to me. Accountability and testing falls into whichever category is marked “bad”. But, it is only in that category. We teach our students to use Venn Diagrams so they can see how many things can fit into more than one category. Shouldn’t we follow the same principles?
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