Monday, August 29, 2011

Teachers Feeling 'Beat Down' As School Year Starts

An NPR story on teachers feeling "beat down", with a comment from DFER's Joe Williams:

As students prepare to begin another school year, their teachers are hopping mad. They're facing layoffs and deep budget cuts and many say they're tired of being blamed unfairly for just about everything that's wrong in public education. They're so mad that many are bypassing their unions and mounting a campaign of their own to restore the public's faith in their profession.

…The consensus though is that the Obama administration's education policies are no less prescriptive or punitive than the much maligned No Child Left Behind law. And high stakes tests are undermining quality instruction and good teachers, especially if test results are used to evaluate teachers or decide how much they should be paid.

"Testing is a more of a means of addressing the accountability issue despite the way it's been portrayed," says Joe Williams, who heads the Democrats For Education Reform, a liberal lobbying group that focuses on teacher quality issues.

Williams says no one is trying to punish teachers or make testing more important than children. The problem is that this discussion is taking place in a very polarized political climate.

"The notion that education reform could get wrapped up so closely with attempts to eliminate collective bargaining has made it very difficult to have this conversation all over the country," Williams say.


Teachers Feeling 'Beat Down' As School Year Starts


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