PESPD'S EDUCATION MYTHS
Over the weekend I had a traumatic blogging experience. As the school year has wound down, I've read a number of posts by teachers who found the end of the school year very stressful. On Saturday, I read a post by Anonymous Teacher, who expressed those same feelings, and I decided to comment. Anonymous Teacher is in her first year, and I've been teaching for 32, so I thought I'd wow her with my wisdom. In the comment, I said that the school year always gets easier for me as it goes along, in part, because I always have some non-performers who drop out of my class and go to the ALC.
Ms. H. from Teaching in Texas was not impressed. In a response to my comment, she lambasted me! She implied that I am a lousy teacher and human being, she said that she hoped she would never become as jaded as me, and she sarcastically referred to me as "Public Education's Self-Proclaimed 'Defender'." Ouch!
I wanted to explain myself, so I responded to her in another comment on Anonymous Teacher's site. I wanted to make absolutely sure that Ms. H. would see it, so I also copied it and put it on Ms. H's. site. When I checked later, I found that she had deleted it. I guess she let me know what I can do with my olive branch. Ouch again!
This experience, along with a book I am reading by Jay Greene, has inspired me to start a series of posts that I will title PUBLIC EDUCATION'S SELF-PROCLAIMED DEFENDER'S EDUCATION MYTHS. Part of my problem with Ms. H. was that I didn't explain myself very well in the first place, but another part of the problem is that we have different beliefs.
There are certain things that, according to college classes and workshops, teachers are supposed to believe. But my experience tells me that some of these things aren't true. In Jay Greene's book, which seems to be another blast at public education, he says that there are certain things that the public believes about public education that aren't true. The public believes these things because of propaganda from special interests (teachers and teachers' unions). Thus, his book, EDUCATION MYTHS. But I've found that Greene, in making his argument, presents some of his own beliefs as facts, and these "facts" also don't square with my experience. So during the next few weeks, I plan on addressing some things that teachers and the public are supposed to believe about public education that I believe are wrong. So here to wet your appetite are PESPD's EDUCATION MYTHS:
1. When a student fails, the teacher has failed.
2. The American people demand high standards from their schools.
3. Education should be a right of every student.
4. All high school aged kids should be encouraged to stay in school.
5. The key factor in the learning that takes place in any classroom is the quality of the teacher.
6. The key factor in determining a student's performance is his or her academic ability.
7. God is not allowed in public schools.
8. Teachers lack incentive to do a good job unless they are held accountable.
9. Public schools will improve if we use vouchers to force them to compete with private schools.
10. Because of our poor public education system, we are falling behind other nations.
I reserve the right to revise this list as I go along. After all, it's my blog and my posts. But don't worry, I won't delete you. There's nothing worse than being deleted. Now, if only I could remember where I put that olive branch!