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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

DCPS proves once again tells teachers they are not important

This is going to be a little inside baseball. DCPS decided to scrap it's ESE curriculum based on 24 responses to a survey given during a pandemic. That's a problem; the bigger one though, is the district continues to treat its teachers like afterthoughts.

So last spring, they introduced a program called Teach Town to supplement our main ESE program ULS. I didn't care for it, but I may not be a great barometer as I usually don't like new things.

So fast forward to our return, and I was told we are scraping ULS for Teach Town. Um, what?!?

So I wrote the director of ESE and said is this a good idea, you may have noticed there was a pandemic going on, and maybe this was not the time to stress everyone out with such a big change.

She responded and said they did a survey in the spring, and people overwhelmingly wanted to switch to Teachtown.

A survey? I looked in my inbox, clutter, and trash, and I did not receive it. I asked my four-person team if they had received it and what they thought about Teach Town. Like me, they did not remember the survey, and like me, they did not care for Teach Town. It was to one on one and way to low for a lot of our kids, and I want to remind everyone I work at a center school for intellectually disabled children.

So I asked to see the results of the survey.

151 people responded.

ULS was popular though not overwhelmingly.

Teach Town was crazy popular by almost three to one.

See, the director of ESE education said, we are right, and you are wrong.

Except, take a look at these two slides,

Hardly anybody answered the question about Teachtown because they were not in the study. They used this shoddy data to justify what I am sure of is the decision they already made. 14 people answering one question dictated the future of the ESE curriculum if you believe what they told me anyways.

During one of the emails, the director said they wanted to include as many people as possible, which I after seeing the results of the study call, well you know what I call.

This brings me to my point, we will never be the district we could and should be as long as we treat our teachers as afterthoughts, and lest you think this is just ESE, read this note I got from an advanced math teacher.

I know this seems rather small given everything else, but I’d thought you’d like to know that for upper level math (alg 2 and beyond), the District has dumped all the on-line resources for the curriculum, even the on-line textbook.  I just thought this was rather short-sighted given the current circumstances.  The sole resource is the textbook and whatever free things the teacher can find on the web.

This is something I confirmed with another math teacher.

So it's not just science they ignore but teachers at all levels as well.

We could and should be doing better.     

I just want to say, if you love Teachtown, I am not mad at you and its okay to hate ULS too and believe you me I have a love-hate relationship with it, but if we are doing the work, I think we should be considered, we should be asked what works and what doesn't.  We shouldn't have things forced down our throat, not during a pandemic and not during good times either.

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