Friday, March 19, 2010

Firing Teachers at Underperforming Schools is Unproductive Reform

Teachers are the life blood of this country. So when I heard that the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan chose to fire a host of teachers in the Chicago schools, in the middle of a recession, I shook my head.

Obama and Duncan are about to see how it feels to get politically bitch-slapped by the most underappreciated union in the country, the teachers. And I hope my mother is leading the way.

They are using one elementary school in Chicago as the model. You would think that people who are so smart could not be as stupid and simple minded as Duncan and Bami, but...my expectations are a little too high in this case; especially since people like Obama have always sent their children to private school and Duncan's children go to an "elite" public institution that Pookie could not get into.

You see Duncan, one moderate "success" story with your program will not be the answer to every school. Take for example the illiteracy, drop out rate and poor performance at schools on Native American reservations. Is it bad teachers? Or is it them still dealing the residuals of a very bad government.

The remedy of firing all teachers is supposed to be the across the board solution, but it is not, it is actually spitting one the profession once again and removing teachers in the group who are have made a difference.

Duncan's tactic is similar to cancer treatment. Kill all cells good and bad in hopes that you can go in to remission.

Why are the teachers to blame when schools fail? That boggles my mind from the Bush era's "No Child Left Behind" to this new initiative "Rising to the Top" a push to make educational levels a national standard.

First the onus was on the bad parents, now it is bad teachers. What about a failed and flawed school system that has ALWAYS been in place due to the preferential treatment of the priveleged and was never fixed. Oh yeah, and what about all the dumb people who have been my supervisor, but got the jobs due to flesh privelege.

Even though the legal system threw out a couple of desegregation laws that have been reversed at least socially today, the evidence of a backwards America exists in the backwards school system.

Of course there are bad teachers.

I will not argue that there are some teachers who are so horrible they need to be placed on something akin to a sexual predatory's list.

Nonetheless, the profession of teaching is seen and treated as an inferior career.

Need I remind U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan that teaching has become the depository for everyone who needed a job.

As well, the "integration" of schools disrupted the academic climates of many schools that suffer racial tensions, disappropriation of honors classes to certain races, and the social/economic downfall of communities whose taxes do not go to their community educational instituions.

Maybe if the standards of teaching were elevated before one hits the classroom and real teachers were compensated, promoted and given more say in the run of the school as opposed to an administrator who probably has not been in classroom.

Maybe if the mandate to have teachers bused into communities they fear and will never live teach, while those who have stayed and are the glue that hold some of these raggedy schools together without notice, the climate would change.

Or just maybe if the running of poor school were linked the building of prisons, or economic injustice in working class and communities of color, inequital distribution of taxes, and seen as a bigger issue than just student performance, "bad parenting", or crappy teaching, than everyone who has really profitted off of schools, but failed would be held accountable and fired.

However...

Bureaucrats have to point to somebody so they can look good. But there is an African proverb that says, "Point one finger and three are pointing back at you."

3 ish talking intellectuals holla at a sista:

微笑每一天 said...

nice job! waiting for your new artical. ........................................

Max Reddick said...

I agree whole-heartedly. The knee-jerk reflex is to blame the teachers. But too much goes into the equation to lay it all at the feet of teachers. I have always maintained that you cannot fix the schools until you provide some amelioration of the conditions in the communities surrounding the schools. In other words, to fix the schools, you cannot look myopically at the schools, but look at the overall social conditions that are setting the conditions for failure.

Reggie said...

Very nice, very nice indeed!!!

Excellent post!!!