Common Core dollars spent to retain teachers – states still can’t identify failing teachers
Freedom Outpost – Karen Schroeder – 1/8/2014
The significance of subjecting teachers to failed teacher-training programs is lost on those who influence education. Billions of dollars from the federal Common Core Standards, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other sources will be spent to prepare quality teachers; but those programs will use recommendations from the same educational theorists who created those “failing” teachers in the first place. It is time to stop spending good money on failed policies. Let’s face some truths.
Research and logic indicate that great teachers know their subject well and can simplify complex concepts so children can understand. To achieve this level of skill, each teacher must master the subject he / she will teach and be prepared to employ whichever teaching method would be most appropriate and effective for a given situation. Teachers fail when the educational system neglects to provide that teacher with the basic knowledge needed to become an expert in a subject.
Basic math formulas simplify math; they help explain the relationships between patterns, and they create a universal language. Too many America children and teachers have been robbed of this basic understanding of math. Teachers are being labeled as failures when it is their K-12 and college training programs that have failed them.
Teachers are beginning to revolt against being held accountable for failed policies. They have been made invisible, and their involvement has not been sought while policies are being created that will impact their success and that of their students.
Every teaching method available to teachers today was available at the time of Plato and Socrates. There are no new teaching methods. Some technologies have made the implementation of those methods more effective, and current teacher-training programs do a relatively good job of preparing teachers to implement teaching methods. The problem occurs when federally aligned curricula requires teachers to use teaching methods which are not appropriate for a specific group of students or for a specific concept that is being taught.
Teachers who object to federal interventions that limit their ability to help students succeed are often threatened with suspension for insubordination.
Teachers need the right to choose the teaching method most appropriate for any given class and for any specific concept. A teacher who chooses a teaching method that fails students is responsible for that failure. When teachers are forced to use methods that are not best for their students, holding the teacher accountable is not fair. That concept belongs in every new teacher- preparation program!
If teachers were required to know their subject, lack of knowledge could be easily identified. If teachers were required to convey that knowledge effectively to students, a five-point quiz could determine a teacher’s effectiveness. Yet, state leaders are complaining that after spending billions on teacher training, they can’t identify ineffective teachers.
Perhaps the teacher is not the problem. Teacher-preparation programs convince teachers to implement federal programs that are morally or intellectually offensive to them.
Citizens, when your state labels teachers as failures and wants more of your dollars to fund the same old teacher-training programs, refuse to fund any program that fails to improve the teacher’s knowledge of the subject(s) he teaches. Remind your state legislators that Georgia recently spent more than $1 Billion annually on teacher-improvement efforts with “little evidence of success.” The reason given was that the state “hasn’t figured out a way to identify and remove ineffective teachers.” Citizens must stop this misuse of funds. We must withhold support for failed federal policies and insist that educational experts be responsible for the failures they have created.