My Last Word
KDeRosa, I am bored with your blame game. I accept full responsibility for every student who fails my class and the WASL. I wish to become more like that school in Baltimore, the one you always mention, what is its name? Oh yeah, City Springs School.
Except, I found myself slightly confused when I visited their web page. You had said once that parents cannot be blamed for failure, that 100% of the responsiblity, at least in the 95% of educable students, belongs to me, the teacher. Here are your words, "But at the end of the day, blaming lack of parental support when students fail is not a valid excuse." Now, before you go twisting my words, let me say again, that sometimes students fail because it is their fault, and sometimes students fail because of life at home, and sometimes students fail because the teacher didn't use Direct Instruction--that was my position.
But, here's my dilemna: City Springs School is wasting a lot of time by informing parents that they play a vital role in the education of their child. They have a page, a whole page outlining what they can do to support their student. You should e-mail the administration and let them know that the money and time spent on that page could have been used in the classroom.
And don't forget to mention that students don't need to be well-fed before they come to school to help them succeed. They actually spend money on providing food before school for those who don't get it at home. The nerve.
In addition, apparently some teachers at the school are not using the Direct Instruction program properly. The school had to devise a Discipline Code for disruptive behavior. At one point even mentioning using the police. For the sake of Direct Instruction's reputation, please go fix this.
And there's more. Again, apparently, some teachers at the school are not using the Direct Instruction program the way you prescribe. Some students have to be retained.
What I couldn't find, things like class size or funding--did you know that not every elementary school in the Baltimore City Public School system has a website? It seems unfair. The other things I couldn't find are teacher to student ratios. How many aides are in the classrooms. That type of information.
But, like the title says, those are my last words on the issue. I will continue to reevaluate my terrible teaching and lack of effectiveness on the lives of my students.