EdTech To Teachers: Who Needs You?
If you want to see a fully-refined expression of edtech disdain for actual teachers, check out this article by Dr. Karen Beerer, "Greatest Lesson: Teacher Buy-in Is Overrated."
Beerer is VP of Professional Development for Discovery Education. She's held that job since 2012-- before that she was Asst. Super at Boyertown School District for seven years, and before that an "educator" at Quakertown Community School District for twenty years (that apparently breaks down to stints as principal and teacher). She was hired by Discovery to handle things like their Common Core Academies. Presumably their mission statement was not "Learn from professional development or don't-- we couldn't care less."
And yet, here she is to explain how implementing ed tech can be done via a big bus that just drives over your professional staff.
The stock photo for the piece is a woman at a desk, eyes closed, hand to forehead. One must assume it's a superintendent thinking, "OMFG those damn teachers." The subhead notes that while collaboration is nice and all, waiting for teacher buy-in can be "paralyzing to innovation." And we are off and running.
Almost immediately, Beerer hedges her bets and adds a "sometimes" because, she says, there is a time and place for it.
She notes that teachers have a right to feel innovation fatigue as fads like Madeline Hunter come and go (but she would like you to know, parenthetically, that she still loves Hunter-- are you getting a picture of Beerer now?). But as she travels the country as
Every day, from all over the country, we hear stories of teachers whose jobs are, for one reason or another, are on the line. Sometimes we hang back, correctly assuming that we don't have the whole story, that there are local issues that we don't know about. But sometimes these local stories deserve all the attention we can give them because they are an early warning of kinds of problems we could all face. So that's why I think you should keep reading when I tell you--
Sarah Chambers is under attack.
Chambers is a special ed teacher in the Chicago Public School system, serving students at the Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy for the last eight years. She has been rated "distinguished" by six different principals. And as recent events have shown, she is much-beloved by her students and their parents, not because she's all warm and fluffy, but because she is a fierce advocate for those students.
CPS just suspended Chambers, and has served notice that they want to take her job.
Here's why we should all care.
Testing before teachers.
According to Chambers, the stated reason for her suspension was that she was encouraging students to opt out of taking the PARCC.
Let that sink in-- of all the possible kinds of professional misconduct that a teacher could be guilty of, the one that the district was willing to move quickly and forcefully on was not a matter that