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Saturday, March 31, 2012

A quick quiz about teaching

From the Ecology of Education, by Jason Flom

I submitted 5 open-ended questions I thought lawmakers should ask teachers before crafting bills aimed at reforming education.

The policymakers on the Education Policy Committee thought it was a great idea (especially after the stink teachers made about not being included in reform efforts in Florida). However, in order to more easily quantify the responses, they added multiple choices to each question.

As one senator told me, “Not only will this help us employ data to specifically target areas teachers identify as being most critical to school improvement, it will also make it easier for teachers to complete, as it is in a format they are quite familiar with.”

Touché, Senator. Touché.

Below is a sample of the survey legislators will be sending out to educators across the nation: Education Reform Questions for Teachers

Teachers, we want to know what you think! By filling out this quick survey you will become a partner in this democratic and transparent process to shape education reform! Your voice will be heard! After we compile the results, in partnership with your recommendations, we’ll craft legislation accordingly.

Directions: For each question, please use a number 2 pencil and circle the answer you think is better than the others.

1. What inspired you to go into the field of teaching?

A. The prestige.

B. The money.

C. The hours.

D. The ability to slack off and still get paid.

E. All of the above.

2. Why do you stay in the classroom?

A. Tenure.

B. Mounting debt.

C. You enjoy spending your salary on materials for students.

D. It’s so easy you barely have to do anything but ride the benefits package all the way to the bank.

E. All of the above.

3. Which of the below would attract and keep more high quality candidates to the field of education?

A. Larger class sizes.

B. Merit pay based on high-stakes, multiple-choice assessments.

C. More textbooks and testing.

D. Increased adherence to rigid, common standards.

E. All of the above.

4. How can we help improve teacher effectiveness?

A. Eliminate extracurricular programs (such as art & PE) to ensure more class time to work on core subjects.

B. Restrict classroom materials to keep students from getting distracted by too many resources.

C. Mandate longer school days and school year.

D. Prohibit field trips and limit free-time to provide more opportunities for you to teach skills.

E. All of the above.

5. In your professional opinion, the best way to improve public education is to…

A. Privatize it.

B. Siphon money away from it to strengthen teachers’ and students’ will to survive.

C. Reduce benefits for teachers.

D. Villanize unions & scapegoat teachers, while simultaneously pandering to big business lobbyists.

E. All of the above.


You Have Reached the End of the Survey! Put your pencil down & mail this in.

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