Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Too Many Words. Too Few Wordsworth.

The News Journal editorial in today's paper was agog with education reform puppy love. Of course, no NJ editorial would be complete without a swipe at teachers and their union:
Finally, Secretary Duncan wants states to show how they are improving teacher effectiveness.
That's a big question mark. Delaware teachers are not rated on whether students improve. That's a huge gap, one that the teachers union doesn't want to close. However, it should be closed. Teachers should be supplied with whatever tools, resources or leadership they need to be effective. But, ultimately, whether they are or not, the extent of their effectiveness should be measured.

We should carry out this idea of pay for performance to all levels of society. For example, newspapers are supposed to keep citizens informed about current events. Delaware residents should be given current event exams every 3 months. If a majority do not show standard knowledge of current events the News Journal editors should be docked 2.5% of their salary.

By the way NJ, that's the amount teachers are docked for the coming year. Yes, these same teachers that you want to expect more from, are being paid less. (Although, from your confusing editorials on the matter, you must not get it.)

Let's keep this pay for performance thing going. Doctors should not be paid unless patients make full recoveries. Lawyers should not be paid unless they get acquittals. The local gym should not be paid unless their members lose weight. Dry cleaners should not be paid unless customers (especially me) improve on the spill ratios to the front of their shirts. Bars should not be paid until patrons are satisfactorily intoxicated.

Let us make a whole world where someone else is responsible for our fulfillment and success.
Remember and take to heart William Wordsworth:
Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:--
We murder to dissect.

Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Tim. I like your bold and novel idea. Should we not all be held accountable? Why is it that financial compensation seeme to be so important to some for VALIDATION. It ain't worth much if y'all don't have to pay (or get paid) for it...

    My sense of accountability has always been extreme. I feel accountable every day to my students and to their parents. Some days, it is a real burden. I am confident that I can demonstrate growth and learning in my classes. I always have. At the same time, I do not believe that my worth or $$ value should be based on the results of some standardized test.

    Yesterday, I created a rant in response to your previous post, but it got lost in my attempts to post my comment. (I do not care for this Google account business. Your blog does not always accept my name and password. ARRGH!) Any way, I am feeling more than annoyed by the NJ's and V2015 group's apparent disregard for the rest of us when it comes to any discussion of education reform. They consistently demonstrate their ignorance of teachers' roles as classroom, school, curriculum, and instructional reformers. This is not by accident. They seem blinded by their own self-regard. V2015 frequently congratulates themselves for ideas/concepts, goals, legislation, and achievements that they alone did not bring to fruition. Here I am in the classroom, along with hundreds of my colleagues, slaving away to provide the best--and trust me, we do know what to do and how to do it--and yet, we get little to no credit for the changes that have been made or any achievements that have been wrought. What the heck? V2015 is a legend in their own mind, as my mother would say.