I feel that the issues that Stan Karp raises in his speech “Who’s Bashing Teachers and Public Schools and What Can We Do About It?” are in fact issues that an immense problem in today’s society and education. Karp argues that teachers are being blamed for their students’ progress and standardized testing scores, regardless of any variables. The power of educators in the public education system is decreasing, while the state and federal government seems to be gaining more power and interfering too much with education. Instead of working together to find a solution to the problem of inadequate education, the higher administrations seem to busy pointing their finger at the teachers, and overlooking other causes of the low test scores.
When first reading this part of Karp’s speech, I automatically connected it to the students in my classroom. My students receive both ESL and Special Education Services. Many of them speak little to no English and have learning disabilities as well. Regardless of these services that they receive, they were still expected to take the NECAP standardized assessments last October. Needless to say, all of my students received “below proficiency” on all parts of the test. It is completely and utterly unfair to have an 8th grade English Language Learner be tested on 8th grade material, when she is reading at a beginning 2nd grade level. Despite these factors, the government is blaming teachers for something they have no control over. Beside language barriers and special needs, students may deal with factors outside of the classroom that influence their learning as well.
This article in Providence Journal explains how teachers in Central Falls, Rhode Island were fired because their school was considered “low performing”. How is a school’s performance solely based upon the way that the TEACHER’S perform?
This video supports that there is not enough money going into the public school system to create meaningful curriculums, as well as the fact that those schools are limiting the teachers’ power and giving more control to the “lawyers and corporate executives” in society today.
This video provides a description of what a charter school actually entails and how the system operates on three basic principles: CHOICE, ACCOUNTABILITY, and FREEDOM.
This article explains and supports other factors that are responsible for low achievement including food insecurity, family violence, pollution, and poverty. How can teachers educate when students have these types of stresses that they have to overcome outside of the classroom?