Friday, February 17, 2012

NCLB (Humiliating Teachers)

Question: Does humiliating teachers motivate them to do better?

Note: One of the results of the No Child Left Behind law has been to label failing teachers and failing schools. RayS.

Answer: “Humiliating Teachers to Do Better.”

Quote: “When it comes to using tests to ‘motivate’ teachers to do better, there’s been an analogy floating around for quite a while that we like. Take the worst professional football team in the country. To encourage them to win more games next season, take away their protective gear, team doctors, and nice practice facility. When they have to play games against better outfitted teams, it will inspire them to win. Sound ridiculous? No more ridiculous than thinking that humiliating teachers will inspire them to teach better or that taking away schools’ resources will result in higher test scores.”  P. 95.

Quote: “Until the national, state, and local administrators and policymakers begin to take seriously the effects of poverty and oppression on the educational achievement of children, we will continue to see teachers scapegoated and held to unachievable standards.” P. 96.

Comment: I’m not sure about the analogy in the first quote—except that “failing” schools do not have the resources that the better suburban, affluent school districts have—but the second quote needs to be said loud and clear. So long as students in “failing” schools who are victims of poverty, drug cultures, unmotivated parents, crime on the streets, etc., and other social problems are addressed, the schools will fail and teachers will be scapegoated. RayS.

Title: “Editorial: Opening the Conversation: NCLB 10 Years Later.” Leslie S rush and Lisa Scherff. English Education (January 2012), 91-101.

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