Tuesday, January 24, 2012


"Im holding on too tight. I've lost the edge," is how Cougar says it. And I can't help but wonder whether or not Cougar and I have something in common.
I like Bill Gates and all his foundation is doing for public education. But I'm growing tired of the theory that students succeed based on the ability of their teacher. Good teacher matter, that is true. But sometimes, good teachers make no difference at all because students are people and not data points. I believe in merit pay. I believe in school reform. But I don't know how to solve the bad student cohort problem.
Last year, I taught my Honors, College Prep, and Fundamental level students in much the same way. All three groups outperformed their peers on state exams. This year, my two college prep classes are performing at, or below, the Fundamental level students from last year.
Did I suddenly become bad? Have I lost the edge? Do I need to turn in my wings?


At 9:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peers matter more to this dynamic that families or staff.
That may be a huge part of the picture.

At 3:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have watched your evolution in teaching through your blog. You advocated eliminating tenure, you have advocated merit pay, now you finally see the reality! Teaching in an urban district is incredibly difficult and unfair. Your pollyanna ideals have gone and you now understand the bureacy in an urban district. I left after 15 years and I have added 15 years to my health. You can play the martyr, but the reality is the old timers who are there- who are great teachers are only there because they are afraid to give up what they have earned in time served and I don't blame them. I gave up tenure and hundreds of sick days and much security. I now teach in a balanced district which had kids of all types and my urban knowledge has served me well. I am able to teach because discipline is not the issue. For anyone who feels literally sick and tired look elsewhere. There is n Valhalla, but there are better situations.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home