Well, everyone is just pushing merit pay in education, and it seems like it will come to be.
This idea just breaks my heart. The idea that some test can be administered and it will accurately judge what a teacher has taught, judge whether a teacher has been SUCCESSFUL, is just mind-blowing. Never mind that a kid can come in with no breakfast... never mind that a parent can be neglectful... never mind that a kid can be special ed and barely ever to read... never mind that a kid can just decide they don't feel like performing on a certain day, or some kids have been taught not to care by their parents, or that students can be homeless and have their mind occupied with a lot more than a 20 minute essay about why students should wear uniforms in school.
Unfortunately, this sort of thing just makes me say I will never again read Romeo and Juliet or 1,001 Arabian nights or the Norse and Greek myths to my kids.
I will never again teach my students to read with emotion, or allow them to experiment with crafting a gripping story arc.
I will never again bother with bringing in Civil War artifacts so my kids can touch the sweat stains of a man long dead, or discussing the discovery of a species thought long extinct.
I will never again bring in world-famous cheese experts to give the kids a taste of something new, or writers to give them a bit of insight how much heart and soul and sweat goes into a piece of writing.
I will never again bother to teach about Dr. King or Cesar Chavez or Lucretia Mott, about people who fought and sacrificed to make our country, our lives, what they are.
I will never again teach my sixth graders throw a game of kickball to bunch of excited third graders and learn to grin while doing it, or have them sit next to a first grade book buddy and help them with a tough word.
I will never again bother to be a confidant or a mentor or a trusted adviser, someone who former students come back to visit years after they've left.
Nope... because NONE of this will be on the tests.
Nope... I'll be forced to drill and kill exactly what is on the tests, over and over and over. I will be forced to churn out little test taking robots, because if I do not I will not be able to afford college for my own kids, I will not be able to afford to live within an hour of where I work.
I am so terribly upset by this. I hope that folks on a Duke site, many of whom are fellow Duke alumni, find it as painful as I.