1973 - when I started asking questions, like, "Why are we all dressed so funny?"

Friday, May 07, 2010

Colorado Education "Reform" Part I

Part of the subtext of the debate around SB 191 seems to be the idea that teachers should be held accountable for the one factor that is fundamentally beyond their control: the interior freedom of the student. Yes, a good teacher can help a student to have academic growth. So too might an inert teacher witness a student grow academically. Furthermore, a brilliant teacher may have a student who flat-lines or even declines in the course of a year. The teacher is one factor among many - sometimes central, other times peripheral.

Any teacher who has the courage to be honest amid all this smoke and fury will tell you that he has witnessed numerous intellectually capable student tank tests for frankly mysterious reasons. Apathy, indifference, nay, even hostility - these and countless other factors can and do reside in the souls of our students. Unless and until we embrace the Spartan ideal of putting our youth in barracks so that we so-called experts can have total control, please don't expect teachers to take sole responsibility for the academic shenanigans of students. If you do that, I will refrain from boasting that I am the reason for my students' enlightenment and growth.