Monday, November 04, 2013
Chris Christie Yells at Yet Another Teacher
Guess what, Chris? We're tired of you too.
ANNE'S LITANY OF WOES AGAINST GOVERNOR CHRIS "THANK GOD THERE WAS A HURRICANE" CHRISTIE:
1. Teachers in New Jersey now have to give students a beginning of the year test with stuff the students have never seen before, so that the students can be tested later in the year to see if they learned the stuff. Seriously? Nothing like settling in to an end-of-the-year physics test when you haven't had a single day of physics. I. Am. Not. Exaggerating.
2. School districts are hiring people just to evaluate teachers. That's taxpayer money that could go into textbooks and music classes.
3. My school district is seeking to hire a person whose sole job will be to run the standardized testing. Again, I am not kidding.
4. To date, November 4, my students have had eight days of standardized testing. They are scheduled to have four more in December and seven more in April. That's 19 days in a 181-day school year. Let's look at it another way. That's almost four solid weeks of standardized testing. It's more than 10 percent of the school year!
5. This year, we New Jersey teachers had to submit two Student Growth Objectives (SGO). The forms are impossible to decipher. I read the instructional manual twice, went to the union meeting, and then prepared mine as thoughtfully as possible. The supervisor flung it back at me demanding multiple "corrections." So I had to do it over. My guess is that I'll have to revise it at least two more times. I'm not alone in my confusion. Most of the teachers at my school weren't able to complete the SGO forms properly.
6. The whole point of Student Growth Objectives is not to measure student growth. Teachers have already done that with stuff like, oh, I dunno ... meaningful tests? The point of SGO is to turn people into numbers, turn students into "data," and use those numbers as a "gotcha" against teachers who aren't very good at math and statistics (like me).
7. Chris Christie has done a masterful job of implementing the first steps in the Great Path to Evil. What is this Great Path to Evil? The privatization of education. Public school teachers have been so vilified that they are being blamed for everything from global warming to feline leukemia. The more teachers are abused in the press, the more the students come to school with the attitude that their teachers are lowlife spreaders of verminous infections. This does not improve classroom morale.
Make no mistake, reader. The Great Path to Evil is a plan to dismantle collective bargaining so that everyone is expendable, that the first sign of weakness or age becomes ample reason to fire, that the goal is to get the most work from the fewest people for the lowest wage. Chris Christie is a convenient mouthpiece for this agenda.
Look at the picture above and imagine that person as our chief executive. He is in the process of belittling a school teacher while his beaming wife looks on. Oh my Bored Gods! Where does this man wind up in our national story?