According to the Washington Post, 12-21-10, one in four don't pass the military exam. Schools all across the US are failing or threatened to be taken over, due to year after year of no progress. It has been easy to blame teachers for this failure and rightly so. However, the problem is much bigger than to put all the blame on the front line.
States are now under pressure by funders (US government or other financial resources) to get a plan or lose money. Districts are falling to unemotional means, with statistics. Those who make the scores win. The problem is why? Were they lucky? Did they get a good batch of kids? How much politics was involved? Often there is A LOT. If there is favoritism from administrators and a teacher gets more support, resources or parent involvement, that person will inevitably do a better job.
If a teacher has been at a school for over five years and consistently has done well or consistently failed, with or without union support, it seems that's enough time to make a judgment. A new teacher will have a difficult time showing immediate success and should be given a growing period.
But the September 28, 2010 report about the teacher who committed suicide, as a results of test score exposure is a serious and extreme example of data gone wrong. Word is that New York and other states are considering looking at and using similar information to help determine who stays and who goes. The public humiliation of such reports is serious on so many levels.
Many really don't realize what goes on behind closed doors, even for those who get lots of evaluation and observation. The second most private act, teaching, has a lot of features going on, that even the best administrator can't always know about.
The teacher is a nurse, ...
Are the younger or more seasoned teachers the better choice for the next generation? Should test scores be used to chose who stays and who goes or is the job of teacher more complex? This piece evaluates the depth of being a teacher in the 21st century and reason so many drop out, as well as the extensive demands on teachers, despite low pay. Finally, addressing the serious issue of student attitude and behavior is integrated in the solution.