Uninformed Opinion

The Times Union Opinion Nugget, Teaching Matters, pulled a play from the Superintendents and the legislatures playbook and that’s blame the teachers when things don’t work out like hoped for.

It has to be the teacher’s fault if children aren’t doing well. It can’t be the lack of parental involvement and it can’t be the districts policy to pass kids along whether they have the skills or not. It’ can’t be the counties one size fits all curriculum that ignore so many kids abilities and desires and it can’t be the gutting of discipline county wide. It can’t be the neighborhoods that many of these kids come from that don’t value education and it can’t be an out of touch administration which is more concerned about appearing to do well and finally it can’t be a far off legislature, very few of whom have ever taught in a classroom but that doesn't stop them from meddling and probably leads to them not properly funding education. It can’t be any of those things.

No it has to be the teacher’s fault, teachers who are micromanaged and overwhelmed with minutia. Teachers who have seen the creativity in the field sucked out by pacing guides and universal curriculum's and who aren’t allowed to use best practices; teachers who are given all the responsibility but none of the authority to do the job.

The truth is, if we were to replace the staff at the best school with the staff at the school that was struggling the most there would be no significant improvement as long as we continued to do things the way we do them now. The truth is struggling schools are already staffed with some of the best teachers around, unfortunately they are put in impossible situations and now they are being blamed for it. The Times Union should consider all that before it writes it’s next opinion nugget

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