- Students: The Original American Revolutionaries - February 21, 2018
- The Case of the Shrinking Education Department - November 12, 2017
- We Must Teach the Worst of our History; Not Glorify It - August 14, 2017
- Transgender Student Rights are Human Rights - February 23, 2017
- Why "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" Still Matters in 2017 - January 16, 2017
- No Right to an Education: Detroit Schools and the Secretary of Education Nominee - November 29, 2016
- I Think I Failed You - A Civics Teacher's Letter to her Former Students - November 16, 2016
- Transforming the 'Trump Effect' in Schools - October 27, 2016
- Implicit Bias: The Missed Post-Debate Discussion - October 4, 2016
- 15 Years after 9/11: Days of Infamy & Memory as History - September 12, 2016
Myth #2: Standardized Testing and Achievement “Races” improve schools. In fact, these methods of pitting schools against other schools and teachers against each other work more as wars of attrition, where good teachers are eliminated in order to hire cheaper “facilitators” who can train students to take the standardized tests (as in Florida). The achievement focus of high stakes testing has only sped up the privatization of education. These new schools don’t require teachers with as much experience or education as the public education system does. Thus, many teachers who find themselves without work equal to their qualifications also must compete in a field where many education opportunities are meant specifically for people without the higher degrees or teacher training, and who are willing to accept lower than average wages.
High stakes testing has also served to drive many excellent and well-trained teachers out of the profession because they find they can no longer successfully teach due to their classroom time being robbed by test prep and test taking. The new focus on “Race to the Top” and other competition-based incentives for schools and states pits teachers against each other. They also set teachers up as the targets for states and districts that want to prove they are complying with business models of evaluations. So even as it gets harder for good teachers to enter (or re-enter) the profession, the teachers who remain are burdened more and more by issues that have nothing to do with the quality of their teaching.
Click here for myth #3.