Lawmakers fail our teachers
Flawed. Biased. Unfair.
Those are a few of the words that most come to mind when talking about the new school district grading system just released by the Texas Education Association.
This new rating system, based on A-F scores, is really a lot simpler than those words though, it is downright idiotic.
First of all, and most importantly, it is an outright assault on our teachers and the hours and hours of work that they do every year to try and educate our children. The morons in Austin that came up with this codswallop have no idea what it takes to educate and they obviously don’t care.
What they do care about is the almighty dollar, and let’s face it, what everything always boils down to is the money, especially when it comes to politicians. But on this deal, when you get ready to place blame, line your sights up on Dan Patrick. This is his baby and it is all about promoting his agenda for school vouchers for private schools and the affluent.
You don’t have to look at this deal very long to see that it is so far slanted in favor of affluent districts with a low minority population. It is a slap in the face to all of the school districts and their teachers who work their butts off trying to teach real world kids and prepare them for life.
When you base a grading system on an assessment test that is at the very least unfair, then you can’t help but be unfair. The STAAR test is a monster that forces our teachers to put focus on a test that takes one day. So really, this new grading system is grading our teachers and school districts based on a test that is one day out of 180 and adding on top of that making the schools responsible for getting the kids in class.
I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that parents ought to be the ones responsible for getting the kids to the school in the morning, not the teachers.
The more I think about it, the more ticked off I get.
Let me try to break this down as simply as I can. In my humble opinion, it is the teachers in our districts that ought to be pounding down the doors of the folks in Austin that came up with this idiocy. And let me say that a good deal of my life has been spent covering the schools in our area. There is a long list of local teachers that are called my friend and I know what they have to go through to do their “job.”
So, let’s define that “job.”
Every teacher I know works way more hours than they get paid for and they invest of themselves into the lives of their students. There is making sure the kids aren’t hungry, making sure the kids have the tools they need to learn, after class hours of grading papers, coming up with lesson plans, counseling students that are having problems, band trips, field trips, game nights, meetings, continuing education and a hundred other things that happen after their allotted hours.
Let’s just say it, a teacher’s day is long, hard, stressful and demanding. Then they have to take care of their own lives and families. I will be the first to say, being a teacher is not something I would choose to do.
So, why do they? Because it’s a calling, a gift, a mission. It is what they were meant to be and do and they accept that mission.
That’s why this grading system is so unfair. It takes nothing into account except numbers. Percentages. It doesn’t factor in the little details like some kids just don’t test well, maybe on test day there was a virus going around, maybe some of the kids didn’t get enough sleep the night before. Maybe, just maybe, the STAAR test needs to be done away with itself, so why base a new A-F grading system on a test that is already biased and unfair?
I know this and it is my hope that you do too. Our teachers deserve better and our local districts are far better than the grades they received on this cockamamy new system and we all need to flood our elected officials with our opinion on it. I especially urge all of my teacher friends to not just sit back and take this personal assault. On the front page of this paper you will find the contact information you need to let your voice be heard. Shout it loudly and often. Shout it until they listen. We will shout along with you.
Until they hear. Until they change this idiotic system. Until it is fair.
Until then teachers, just keep doing what you are doing. You are the best and we appreciate you.