Remember the days when teachers were encouraged to inspire students to be anything they could dream of? Now we have corporations trying to peg students in their holes of “most useful to us” by third grade. Yes, we still have wonderful teachers who are still trying, but more and more often, those teachers are leaving the field that they love. Teachers are trained or pressured to become testing facilitators with no time to achieve anything but testing rituals. With their “evaluations” based on how well their students take tests, their time to inspire their students to reach for the sky is but a momentary flash.
Testing corporations are collecting data to sell and share with global businesses, and defining who a child is and what “career path” they should be on by age eight. These corporations seem to make these choices based on what they project their needs will be in that child’s graduating year. What could go wrong? Oh, I don’t know… They may end up with a few too many typewriter repair engineers and too many graduates trained NOT to become the competition of the corporations with their hands in the cookie jar of student data.
This is a story of a teacher friend of mine who just last month gave up. She told the parents of her students what was happening with data collection and testing, and apparently informed parents were a no-no in Oklahoma City Public Schools. They couldn’t fire her because of her stellar teaching credentials and record, so they just made life miserable for her and continued to try to require her to do things she just could not morally or ethically do.
This story is one that has become all too common in public schools. Know who your great teachers are. They need your support. I hope you will get involved in your own community.