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Thursday, March 29, 2012

How education is different than the real world

From the Assailed Teacher blog

The funny thing is that in the “real” world we would never ask a cardiologist to perform brain surgery. It would be a recipe for disaster, but in the educational world high school teachers are asked to get kids with 3rd grade reading levels through a high school level regents class. Math teachers are asked to teach literacy to their students. Why? How did a freshman in high school with a third grade reading level reach a regents level science class?

Twenty years ago there were fewer administrators, fewer superintendents thus more money was spent in the classroom. Now educational budgets are getting chopped but yet more 6 figure – out of the classroom positions – exist than ever before. So let’s evaluate how well a cardiologist performs brain surgery shall we. I wonder how that will turn out? Hmmm It doesn’t take a neurosurgeon to see this end badly.

And for what? To justify the salaries of these glorified positions? To justify a policy that has been in placed almost a decade now and is obviously failing? What if for every school that closes a superintendent loses their job? Aren’t these schools failing under their watch?

If the quality of Bloomberg’s high school diploma is so high why are colleges increasing the number of remedial courses for incoming freshman?

The mayor, the superintendent have completely lost sight at the problem. 13 years ago when I taught and a student failed my class that student was in the principal’s office with their parent explaining why they failed and how they will fix it. Now a student fails and the teacher is in the office trying to explain why they fail. Did they fail b/c there was no rubric on the wall? Or b/c the teacher did not have a strong Do Now? Or maybe they failed because the teacher did not implement the proper use of Cornell notes. To that I say, you know what they do not do at Cornell? Yup cornell notes.

Thirteen years ago administrators and teachers were not this divided, they worked together and at the end of the day despite their differences it was understood they had each others back.

The system is so focused on meaningless numbers they have lost sight of the people behind the numbers, the students. I recently told my students (a group of juniors with freshman credits) that they treat their grade like the D.O.E. treats them. “You kids want your 65 but have forgotten what it means to earn a 65, or an 85 and dare I say a 55. Just like the D.O.E. wants it’s data but has completely lost sight of the person behind the data”. They have completely devalued education. What it means to educate.

In order for true growth to occur a person must learn responsibility and most experience failure, thus learning from their mistakes. How is a student going to learn responsibility when the teacher is responsible for that student’s irresponsibility. How is a system going to grow when they don’t see passed their ego’s to admit their mistakes.

Education has lost it’s integrity, it’s unity. It will never succeed unless we stop dividing the roles and come back to a united front putting the kids first and the numbers second.

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