The ‘Race to the Top’ Accountability Movement has an Unintended Consequence of Leaving Only Teachers Behind - Oddly, There is a Legacy Fix.
The new administration’s role in the Accountability Movement seems to unwittingly shoot itself in the foot with teachers as the collateral damage on a Educational Reform beach that can not be taken without a strategic confrontation among the cross-purposed Allies & Suppliers who only appear to be marching under the same flag.
Teachers & Teacher Education programs need some serious self-reformation if they are ever to halt the control of their story and destiny by every kind of other professional from linguists to sociologists and even retired admirals. There are some great teachers, and even some great Teacher Preparation programs, but these are random occurrences where consistency is essential. The reason is simple: Professional Education is unnoticeably absent fundamental standards found in all other professions. Believe it or not, there is no standard curriculum, no sincere, systemic effort to identify Best Instructional Practices, no guidance in what and how needs to be further researched and developed, and truckloads of weak consultants and players with diluted degrees serving up their own brands of Faculty Development; teachers don’t resent change they resent the farce of the dog & pony shows by entertainers. To be called a profession it is imperative that a profession, one way or another, needs to convene a rolling forum to collect and prioritize the core content of principles and practices that every member ought to know. An honest Grammar of Teaching. Ironically, Teachers worldwide are being held to standards for annual yearly progress (AYP) of their students. Meanwhile, Professors, Learned Societies & commercial schools, and some painfully self-serving non-profit foundations and Universities never even address the fundamental need for solid pedagogic content. The current crop of in-charge “Leaders”& Reformers dangerously resembles the Investment Bankers who remain in charge of the economic systems that they nearly bankrupted. The US Department of Education should hold an ongoing “virtual convention” of the nation’s leading educators to consider and endorse a covenant of principles and more importantly prescriptive practices. Ideally this should be done on a website that transparently allows these to be challenged, tweaked and further specified for different age-grade-situational conditions. Sadly there is no free market in which a teacher can see bids & buys and the best ideas and practices.
While this very un-novel idea works its way through all that is crystallized to hold it in place, there is an action each caring person can take; consider joining the websites below offering a potential catalyst for jump-starting and getting the current system under review and possibly moving in the right direction for all who would teach, and let’s not forget all who need to learn – yes, students are invited to jump in and speak. They like gravity are a weak but all encompassing force; ultimately they trump our best thoughts and science. Taxpayers would be grateful since increasing classroom effectiveness could bring about efficiencies that could save billions of dollars with even the smallest degree of adoption. This is an orphan cause with no natural constituencies. Please join the narrative at: http://teacherprofessoraccountability.ning.com/main/invitation/new?xg_source=msg_wel_network And…http://bestmethodsofinstruction.com/
Say anything, it will be something more than the nothing that continues to get us nowhere.
Anthony V. Manzo, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus firstname.lastname@example.org