Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 14: Defend one's job or prepare the kids?


~A good teacher is like a candle -it consumes itself to light the way for others.

     Teachers in the LAUSD that have been recently laid off will find themselves in an interesting conundrum soon.  Do they attend the official hearing where they will be given the opportunity to defend their layoff, or do they go to work and teach the students and help prepare them for the all important CST (California Standards Test). Not only does this test solely determine a students achievement in our educational system, but it also singularly determines the teacher's "value added" score that he LA Times now so publicly releases each year? Do they defend themselves and their job only to leave their students a few short days before the all important test?

      So let's just say that a teacher attends the hearing (which could take multiple days, no guarantee of timeliness) they could be out of the classroom for valuable hours just days before the test their students have been preparing for all year. This could not only negatively impact their students' scores, but also their own "value added" score which is currently the only quantitative measure of a teacher's effectiveness. Therefore, even if the teacher has a job next year, they could be labeled as an even less effective teacher. These are the moments that you just have to take a breath, count backwards from ten, shake your head, and ask how in the world did our educational system get here? More importantly how do we get back out?

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