Thursday, May 05, 2005

Education Reform

I have read that 50% of first year teachers will quit the teaching field within five years of starting their careers. No other profession, including law enforcement and air traffic control, suffers such a loss. In order to survive teaching in the public schools you must know how to conserve your energy; to concentrate on those things that you can effect, the foremost being doing what is right by your students, and not allow the nonsense to bring you down. * I started teaching over 25 years ago. I recall that at my first in-service training the presenter talked about education reform and unfunded mandates. Best I can tell we have been “reforming” education ever since then.You might think that at some point we could have gotten it “formed” and would go with that for awhile - but no. Part of the problem here is that education reform is enacted by politicians who do not know what they are talking about. These people visit a campus for two hours once every 6 months and then think they can speak authoritatively about how to fix the problems that they see. I think we should create a law in which no one gets to vote on an education reform bill unless they have substitute taught at a school for at least six weeks. And not a rich school like Southlake Carroll or Austin Westlake, but a school where 70% of the population is on free or reduced lunch. If they were to do this then they would not allow the creation of a law, like in No Child Left Behind, wherein only one percent of a school's population may be in special education. (They have recently revised this up to 3%. Thanks a lot.) * In order to survive as a teacher in the public schools you must focus your energy on doing what is best for the students and not allow yourself to be discouraged by asinine edicts that come down from on high.