Sunday, March 07, 2010

Teacher Accountability

“If a school continues to fail its students year after year after year, if it doesn’t show signs of improvement, then there’s got to be a sense of accountability,” - President Barack Obama, as quoted in The New York Times

You'd think this is a no-brainer. Most people who go to work know their employer will judge them on their job performance and if the results are good they might get a bonus, raise, or promotion and their evaluation is bad they might get a reprimand, passed over for a promotion, or worse, fired. That's the deal. You play be the rules, you get the paycheck. You don't measure up, you're axed.

This is why everyone is mad at the banks which were too big to fail. They failed, then got bailed out. Their CEO's meanwhile, are still "awarded" with 6-7 digit bonuses. Go figure.

The teachers' unions are no different. Everyone gets the raise whether their students are leaning how to read, write, add and subtract or not. The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers have stood in the way of anyone who is seeking to reform the system. No support for school vouchers. No support for charter schools. No merit pay. No bonuses and no ending teacher tenure. No nothing.

In order to win grant money from the federal government, Cedar Falls' school board backs its superintendent's offer to extend the school day by 25 minutes. The teachers in this school district demand added compensation. Perhaps they would have a point if the students in the aforementioned school district had high SAT scores and were, for the most part, accepted into some of the most prestigious public and private ivy league colleges across the country but they worked for "one of the worst performing high schools in Rhode Island." They were in no position to demand compensation. If anything they deserved to be fired and yet they will appeal that superintendent's decision to fire them all. Amazing.

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