Monday, December 03, 2007

TAG statement at PEP Nov meeting

Comparing like-to-like is nothing new – George W. Bush made his reputation as the “education governor” while Governor of Texas by doing this exact thing. And we all know how long ago that was…

We at TAGNYC question the validity of Regents scores when tests are scored by teachers ALONG WITH PRINCIPAL INPUT. I personally observed the principal of my school sitting in on Regents scoring last June. To be truly valid Regents would have to be scored outside the school. Oh, and my school received a “B”.

There is zero transparency regarding special education and ELL students. I spend much of my time dealing with persistent disruptive behaviors with no real support of any kind – just the usual “talk but no walk” - which has left the more motivated students demoralized, disenchanted and at this point in the term, completely disgusted. I cannot blame them. I come prepared to teach and I fight to maintain order – fighting apathy, disrespect, hostility, verbal and physical abuse. Real, constructive, and effective discipline consequences are non-existent. Yet my school got a “B”. The review team never spoke to ME, and I was THE sole, the only Dean last year.

We also question the concept of students being assessed on relative progress rather than true and critical command of subject material. This is not the same as teaching to the test. Real teaching has gone the way of the dodo bird. And by the way I am also an art teacher teaching music. My principal decided he did not have to give art this term even though we have students who need the art credit. And I do actually teach music. Good thing I have an early musical background. Our students are taught how and have bought into a culture of “playing the game” from the very first day of kindergarten to the day of their much-vaunted 70% rate of graduation.

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