Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Educational Blame Game

Berendo Middle School, LAUSD, Los Angeles CAImage via Wikipedia
Since the beginning people have been blaming others. But God, "It's the women you gave me."

Now, in education the blame game goes to teachers. The LA Times has been running articles about teacher effectiveness. The LA Times is making public a data-base of teachers that purports to allow parents to see how effective, or not, their child's teacher is. The funny thing is that if LAUSD was using this information to evaluate teachers it would not be public anymore.

I've been in education for 21+ years. Evaluations are usually just a royal pain in the asterisk. Why do I say this? Because they normally are not geared to actually helping a teacher improve. I have been on both sides of the evaluation process. It takes a lot of work and preparation, as an administrator to use the evaluation process in a positive manner.  I will say that without the ability to dislodge un-teaching teachers it is hard to always make progress.

The reality is that on the whole, good students come from good families, no matter the socio-economic situation. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. The block-head doesn't fall to far from the cliff.  If you haven't taught you probably have no idea what it's like to teach a "won't learn" student from a "don't care" parent. If you are a good parent, your children will probably be successful because you will do what you need to do to make sure your child succeeds.

While I do believe teachers should be accountable, parents and students need to be accountable too.
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