Saturday, December 7, 2013

teacher letter | Get Schooled |

teacher letter | Get Schooled |

teacher letter 

    Dear President Obama:
    As a scholar in African American History and a teacher and coach for more than 45 years- it is my unhappy duty to inform you that your education policies have contributed to the lowest morale among teachers that I have seen in my lifetime, while failing to narrow gaps in opportunity or achievement based on race or class.
    You may not believe me, but if you were, as I am, in daily contact with thousands of teachers from inner city to suburb to small town, you would be as worried as I am. Judging teachers on the basis of student test scores, as your Race to the Top policy requires, has been an unmitigated disaster; so has closing allegedly failing schools on the basis of such scores. Teachers everywhere now feel they have to teach to the test; in poor neighborhoods, they fear they will lose their jobs if they don't make this their sole priority.
    Such policies undermine the arts; turn recess and physical education into a luxury only high performing schools can offer, drive mentoring and relationship building out of the classroom, and place teachers at the mercy of accountability officers and data collectors.
    The joy and creative learning that your own children experience in one of the nation's top private schools are being driven out of public schools throughout the nation with startling rapidity. Teachers work in fear. Students learn under extreme stress. Parents wonder why their children 

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