Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Teacher: What school ‘choice’ looks like from my classroom - The Washington Post

Teacher: What school ‘choice’ looks like from my classroom - The Washington Post:

Teacher: What school ‘choice’ looks like from my classroom

School “choice” — the movement to encourage alternatives to traditional public schools — is the watchword in education today because President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are big supporters and have said they want to see it expanded.
Those paying attention to the debate know the general outlines: Supporters say parents should be able to choose their children’s schools, and critics say that choice harms traditional public schools, which educate most of America’s children, and that the movement is aimed at privatizing public education.
Sarah Yost is a National Board-certified teacher of English language arts in her 12th year in education, and she has her own view on school choice and how it affects students like hers. Yost has taught in high-poverty schools and served in a hybrid teacher-leadership role for four years in Louisville. She currently teaches eighth grade at Oldham County Middle School in Kentucky. Here’s her piece on school choice.
By Sarah Yost
After having taught and served in leadership roles for the past 12 years in three public schools, I’ve seen my share of tough kids. There have been heartbreaking cases, like that of DeAnthony, whose mother was in prison for killing one of his friends in a drunk-driving accident. She often wrote him from prison to say that he was the only thing that kept her from killing herself. He worked through his anger in the classroom, sometimes throwing chairs, refusing to work, disrupting, and sometimes targeting students and teachers. Later he would apologize, ashamed, and recommit himself to his work with zeal and concentration. He wanted to be an entrepreneur.
He wasn’t the only student who had something to be angry about. Angela and her six younger siblings were taken from their drug-addicted mother and sent to live with a grandmother who resented having to care for them. Another student, John, hadn’t gone to school until he was 7, when the neighbors called Child Protective Services and he was put in foster care. At 14, he could barely read and struggled to write coherent sentences. Still another student, Adrienne, Teacher: What school ‘choice’ looks like from my classroom - The Washington Post:

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