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In response to:

The Troubles with Common Core

Debi34 Wrote: Apr 21, 2014 7:48 PM
As a public school teacher for 26 years who also happens to be conservative I find it interesting that Common Core is hated by both conservatives and liberals. Conservatives hate it because it represents more big government intrusion into our children's lives. Liberals hate it because it is financed by big business and the testing industry and leads to programs like Teach For America that hurts teachers unions. Who likes it? The Washington Elite who see it as another way to gain power over the people. I think this is an issue big enough to start a movement to topple those elites and get the power back to the people where it belongs. Unfortunately, I don't think the two sides could work together well enough to do that. So, the Elites will probably win in the end and we will be stuck with the Common Core...
All of this is very true. I have been a public school teacher for 26 years. I have had tenure for 20 of them. Once I got tenure, I could have easily skated along. I have a colleague in the room next door to me. Every day he leaves at the same time the kids do. His kids often spend a lot of time watching videos or just playing around. My students are always better prepared for the next grade and I have many parents requesting their child be placed in my classroom rather than my neighbor's. But, guess what? He has a Master's Degree so he actually makes MORE money than I do! I sometimes wish I did not love teaching children how to read so much because I know I could make a lot more money and have a lot less stress if I moved to the private sector. But, I do love my students and will keep doing what I do. But, it also is very disheartening to read all these comments about how lazy teachers are and how liberal we all are. Not all of us are!!!!! I hate being a member of a union and would give up my tenure in a heartbeat. I know I am a good teacher. I don't need tenure or a union to protect me.
I find your comment really offensive. Some of us teachers are very conservative. We are dedicated to our students and work very hard to get them a good education. I know I am one of the few conservative teachers my students will ever have, but even my liberal colleagues are not what you describe. Most of them are married with children of their own. I may not agree with them politically but most of them are good people who do want to help their students. Most of us (liberal and conservative) do not like our unions and hate that we are forced to pay dues to an organization that does not represent us or our values. Last year I had to pay over $900 dollars in union dues.
I agree with everything you say except one thing. I don't think schools should get more money just because they do well on standardized tests. This would leave no schools wanting to teach those hard to teach children: special education, English Language Learners and children from poor, dysfunctional homes. Those kids deserve an education, too, but it is very hard for them to score well on standardized tests. There is always a bell curve and there will kids on the lower end who will always score low. But, we, as a society, should still make every effort to help them achieve to the best of their ability. One of the biggest problems in education is all those schools who serve those populations who are being destroyed by unrealistic No Child Left Behind mandates. Those kids will never score as high as wealthy kids in the suburbs whose parents are well educated and care about their education!
In response to:

Earthquake strongly felt across Los Angeles

Debi34 Wrote: Mar 17, 2014 10:11 AM
4.4?? Didn't even notice it!! It has to be at least a 5 before Californians pay any attention. It's all those transplants from other states making a big deal about it! The same ones who moved here, vote Democrat, and are ruining our once great state!
In response to:

The Left Versus Minorities

Debi34 Wrote: Mar 11, 2014 10:26 AM
I've been a teacher for over 25 years. Give me concerned, involved parents and, unless there is a true disability, I'll give you a successful student. Charter Schools succeed because the parents cared enough to seek out a better school for their children. We need MORE charter schools, not less. As long as they are held to the same accountability as public schools when it comes to student test scores I don't see the problem. Oh, yes, that's right, the teachers union! That's why I'm planning to leave the public schools and move to a charter school at the end of this school year. I can't wait to get out of the mess that is public school. I love my students but I can't take it anymore!!!
When I was in Girl Scouts in the 70s we learned outdoor skills, cooking, and good morals and ethics. These skills have served me well in my adult life and I have fond memories of my time with them. My daughter learned similar things in the 90s, but there was a push towards "empowerment" and as she moved to the older levels it became less about practical skills and more about feminism. She wanted to go camping but they spent more time learning what she termed "boring" stuff. She finally gave that up and joined her brother in 4-H where she had a blast learning about animals and developed a good work ethic. 4-H is a youth group still dedicated to improving our youth, not indoctrinating them!! Head, Hands, Heart, Health!
In response to:

Schoolteacher Cheating

Debi34 Wrote: Feb 06, 2014 10:28 AM
It is a shame what education has come to in this country. This absolutely ridiculous emphasis on test scores that take no account into a child's circumstances or abilities but expect all children of a certain chronological age to score exactly the same is ruining education. A child who comes to a teacher 3 years behind but makes extraordinary growth and gains 2 years in 1 will still score a year behind and the teacher will be penalized. We need to change to a system where the teachers are scored on the GROWTH the children make the year they are in the class, not how the children do based on an arbitrary bar that is the same for everyone. This would also solve the problem of those high achieving kids who are most often ignored in classrooms because the teacher knows their test scores will be fine!
In response to:

Schoolteacher Cheating

Debi34 Wrote: Feb 06, 2014 10:28 AM
It is a shame what education has come to in this country. This absolutely ridiculous emphasis on test scores that take no account into a child's circumstances or abilities but expect all children of a certain chronological age to score exactly the same is ruining education. A child who comes to a teacher 3 years behind but makes extraordinary growth and gains 2 years in 1 will still score a year behind and the teacher will be penalized. We need to change to a system where the teachers are scored on the GROWTH the children make the year they are in the class, not how the children do based on an arbitrary bar that is the same for everyone. This would also solve the problem of those high achieving kids who are most oftener ignored in classrooms because the teacher knows their test scores will be fine!
There is no such thing as "only" a father. Thank you for your kind words.
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