I applaud Barge's efforts on the new teacher and leader evaluation system especially. Our old methods clearly were not working. Case in point our most recent "cheating scandals" and low test scores. The only people who cheat are those who are not adequately prepared for the task at hand. This narrows down to responsibility and accountability. Teachers are expected to be responsible and educational leaders are expected to be accountable when this does not happen.
Even in the business profession I have heard managers say, "it is not my responsibility to baby sit". I totally agree, but if you have irresponsible employees on your team than babysitting will be a part of your job description. Furthermore, if you do not use professional development practices to enhance the value of that employee, you'll forever be cleaning up their mess. The same should be true in the educational system, but personally I have seen very few signs of this in my children's school system.
It seems that some of our educational leaders don't lead and some teachers do everything else, but teach. This approach has lead us to individualism instead of team work, poor team morale, and under educated students. It is clear that this approach arrives from ineffective leadership, ineffective teaching practices, rebellion to change or inability to adapt to change and limited parental involvement.
No disrespect to any of the comments before mine or future comments, but I've heard some negative comments about new approaches. Which is fine because EVERYONE has a valuable point of view, but consider this if you’re not a solution to the problem your part of the problem. Yes this means doing nothing is part of the problem, complaining is part of the problem, and lack of suggestions for needed changes is part of the problem too. Bottom line is if we're not willing to try new approaches, we should stop complaining about the old approaches failing us...just a thought :-)!
This is a good piece because it pointed out some great issues and supportive points. The truth of the matter is that something has to be done that has not already been tried. Let's face it what we've been doing (speaking as a parent) has not worked. We now have a gap, if you will, between the School System and Parents with the kids stuck in the middle. I say a gap because it seems to me that the school system is all about protecting it's image instead of educating our kids. Case in point our recent "cheating scandals". The only people who cheat are those who are not adequately prepared for the task at hand. Although, we have so many "high-quality" educators even they know that their producing questionable quality students.
It seems the "open door policy" for parents no longer exist because our input is not welcome. This is an approach where our educational leaders don't lead and teachers that do everything else, but teach. This approach has lead us to individualism instead of team work, poor team morale, ineffective teaching practices, rebelliously-bored kids, and more importantly un-educated graduates. I say this because I live in a community where roughly 85% of our graduates can not join any branch of the Armed Forces (low ASVAB scores), can not get into college (low-entrance scores/ACT/SAT and now low GPA), and can't get a job (no motivation to look for one). We have a system now where it is more likely for your child to have a baby or drop out before graduation than to receive a "quality" public school education.
I applaud State Superintendent Barge for his efforts because when life throws lemons at me I throw them back and demand CHOCOLATE ;-)!
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