Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Teachers are always the most eloquent

A teacher commenting on the Houston's School Board pushing use of test score inflation (aka "valued added) to measure teacher effectiveness:
I'd like to introduce myself to Mr. Grier and the Members of the School Board. I'm one of the good teachers in HISD. I have high test scores, lots of technology, awesome projects hanging on the walls, good evaluations, well behaved students and very high academic standards in my classroom. I've even received an ASPIRE bonus two years running.

And I want you to know that I'm turning in my resignation in May. In fact, it was difficult to come back this Fall, it made me ill, but I decided to tough it out one more year.

I am leaving public education as disillusioned and disgusted with the system as my colleagues who have been dumped on for years. I am tired of listening to students scream obscenities at teachers and then hide behind smirking assistant principals who see nothing wrong with the student's behavior. I am disgusted with the retaliatory tactics, bullying and lies that come from our main office everyday. I have no faith in the Union as it too is corrupt and entangled in the deceit. Sorry, Ms. Fallon, but you know how horrible it is and you've not been able to do any thing about it. I'm powerless and only protected for now by my scores and a childish kind of campus popularity. I can only cringe as I hear my friends and colleagues insulted, targeted and harassed by students and administrators. There's no ASPIRE bonus big enough to make me stay in a poisonous place where talented teachers' lives have been turned into living hells because of misanthropic and dangerously ignorant principals, blatant favouritism, irresponsible parents just as eager as our new superintendent to jump on the blame wagon and ultimately a society that fails to appreciate the value of an education. With all my heart I'll miss my students, but I have too much self respect and too much self worth to continue working in a profession as corrupt and misguided as this one. I guess that makes me no better than all of those "bad" teachers Mr. Grier and board can't wait to fire.

Congratulations HISD, you won.

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