Friday, March 22, 2013

Effect of Ed Reforms on Teacher Morale

An article in the Vanderbilt newsletter describes the work of Professor Milner here who "pinpoints evaluations of teachers based on annual gains in students’ standardized test scores, fast-track teacher preparation and licensure programs, and use of narrowly focused curricula as contributing to an ongoing drop in teacher dissatisfaction. . . Fast-track programs should not be expanded or new ones created without solid evidence of their long-range effectiveness. Curricula should be broadened rather than narrowed and should be shifted away from high-stakes, test-score based policies."

The idea is that while these practices may have some merit, they are having a devastating effect on teacher morale and satisfaction.

I stumbled on this op-ed piece through Google News, and it has made my day. Thank you very much, Professor Milner, for taking a close look at the unintended consequences of these popular reforms. I taught high school English for 37 years, and everything you say rings true to me.

I would just add that the most important element of ed. reform is always overlooked:  we need to foster a love and habit of reading in students.  That is the underpinning of education, and is almost completely ignored at the secondary level.

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