Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Mike Antonucci with a related comment about Teachers of the Year not agreeing with their union:



Alexander Russo has an interview with Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year Michelle Switala and it's well worth your time. Maybe it's because I'm always dealing with union press statements and talking points, but I find teachers of the year to be refreshing, even if I don't agree with them. There are exceptions, of course, but teachers of the year tend to be "off the reservation" when it comes to education issues.

 I won't attempt any amateur psychoanalysis to explain it, but national and state teachers of the year like Betsy Rogers, Nancy Flanagan, Beth Ekre, Jason Kamras, Michael Geisen, and many others have demonstrated they are not like their colleagues, and their differences extend beyond their teaching abilities.

Yesterday, six Indiana teachers were recognized for "outstanding service to Hoosier students" – an award presented by the state superintendent of public instruction. Two of the teachers, Gaylene Hayden and Jackie Macal, have already received layoff notices.

Both Hayden and Macal expressed mixed emotion upon getting their awards, saying they'd like to see teachers evaluated on more than just seniority. They are both in favor of gauging decisions based on some kind of teacher performance.

Teresa Meredith of the Indiana State Teachers Association countered:

"It's just purely coincidental I think that the honorees this year are not as experienced as their veteran teachers. And though it is disappointing, we honor and value the experience of the folks who have been in the classroom for a while and we see that those veteran teachers are really experts in their field."

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