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Monday, March 21, 2011

The problem with education? Educators aren't running it

From the Washington Post's Answer Sheet

By Valerie Strauss

This was sent to me by several people, and it has been published in a few different forms on a number of Web sites. The most relevant version to education reform today is the one below. If anybody knows where it came from, let me know. This is one television show that just about every public school teacher in America would love to watch. It would make them laugh, and cry.

Have you heard about the next planned “Survivor” show?

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City Schools Chancellor Cathie Black, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Bill Gates will be dropped in an elementary school classroom for one school year.

Each will be provided with a copy of his/her school district’s curriculum and a class of 20 to 25 students.

Each class will have a minimum of five learning-disabled children — three with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, one labeled gifted and two who speak limited English. Three other students will be labeled with severe behavior problems.

Each of them must complete lesson plans at least three days in advance with annotations for curriculum objectives and then modify, organize or create their materials accordingly. They will be required to teach students, handle misconduct, implement technology, document attendance, write referrals,correct homework, make bulletin boards, compute grades, complete report cards, document benchmarks, communicate with parents and arrange parent conferences.

They must also stand in their doorway between class changes to monitor the hallways. In addition, they will complete fire drills, tornado drills and [Code Red] drills for shooting attacks each month. They must attend workshops, faculty meetings and curriculum development meetings.

They must also tutor students who are behind, and they must strive to get their two non-English speaking children proficient enough to take standardized tests. If they are sick or having a bad day, they must not let it show.

Each day they must incorporate reading, writing, math, science and social studies into the program. They must maintain discipline and provide an educationally stimulating environment to motivate students at all times.

If all students do not wish to cooperate, work, or learn, the teacher will be held responsible.

These people will only have access to the public golf course on the weekends, but with their new salary, they will not be able to afford it. There will be no access to vendors who want to take them out to lunch, and lunch will be limited to 30 minutes, which is not counted as part of their work day.

They will be permitted to use a student restroom, as long as another survival candidate can supervise their class.

If the copier is operable, they may make copies of necessary materials before, or after, school. However, they cannot surpass their monthly limit of copies. They must also continually advance their education, at their expense and on their own time.

The winner of this season of “Survivor” will be allowed to return to their job.

Pass this to your friends who think teaching is easy, and to the ones who know it is hard.

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