Friday, November 21, 2014

Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte Danielson, Stave One

Wow, I really wanted to start a new blog and give it this title, overall. I would have a million sympathetic eyeballs in two weeks.

My readership, consisting as it does of high intellectuals and spiritual explorers, might never have heard of Charlotte Danielson. It's time for me to introduce her --and the Orwellian nightmare she has spawned -- to those not familiar with her.

This is going to take awhile, and it's ongoing. But if you're keenly interested in the direction our country is headed, please come along on this ride, because Ms. Danielson is influential. She might turn out to be as influential as the cancellation of the Glass-Steagall Act.

The first thing I'm going to say about Charlotte Danielson is the same thing I will say about anyone who is a former teacher and now is a "consultant," or an "author," or a speaker, or any kind of talking head making bank on modern education: She can't teach.

Wow! That's a bold assertion for the creator of a newly-deployed teacher evaluation tool of epic proportions.

Charlotte Danielson can't teach. How do I know this? Because people who really love to teach, and who are good at it, stay in the classroom. There's not a single little kid who gazes whistfully out the window and says, "Wow. Some day I want to be a vice principal!" Or, "Oh, I hope I can achieve my dream of being a middle manager in an education setting." No! People dream of becoming teachers. If they're not very good at it, there's a career ladder like any other business. Teaching is the bottom rung.

Charlotte Danielson claims to have been a teacher, but the details are a bit nebulous. Of one thing I am certain, however. She has never had to sit and sweat out a teacher evaluation using the baffling rubric that bears her name.

Her "nonprofit" is wallowing in the ducats, though. The Danielson Framework for Teaching is one of two major teacher evaluation systems being shoved down the troats of suggested for implementation in public school districts today.

Reader, please don't bother wandering into the Danielson Fun House via the link above. I'm living in the basement of the Fun House, and I'm going to give you a seat by the furnace. I'm actually a success story (sort of) with this evaluation tool, but that only makes things better. I don't have a personal axe to grind. I'm just a Druid with a love of justice. And in education these days, justice is not for all. People like Charlotte Danielson see to that.



I'm still listening.

Laura said...

About half way through my tenure as a education system employee (not a teacher) our school board elected a former lawyer as the superintendent. I was flabbergasted. Two of my grandparents had been teachers and principals and a great aunt also. They spent their entire working lives in education so learning was a big deal. The school system I worked for has gone rapidly down hill. I'm so glad I got out of there. I'm not about to click that link and send my blood pressure up, but I'll continue to read your blog and hope that things will get better.

Anonymous said...

I have no school age children, and yet I find myself intensely interested in public education -- because free, high quality public education is THE FOUNDATION OF OUR DEMOCRACY!!!!! No wonder the right wing is trying to wreck education -- they don't really believe in democracy.

Anti Kate said...

Still watching, still listening, preach it! I do worry that there's apparently nothing more I can do.

Anne Johnson said...

Anti, there's nothing teachers can do. I think it's more in the hands of parents. Sadly, parents who listen to the news will think that all teachers don't care.