Good perspective from the man who was at the top of the Seattle Police Department during “The Battle in Seattle.”
Tag Archives: unions
The Washington State Legislature is busy working on new ed “reform.” Fifteen years ago or so, when I was still relatively new to education, that was the first time they laid “reform” on me. At that point they gave us the EALRs and the WASL. I was happy because I saw this as a more “authentic” measure of student progress, unlike the “bubble tests” popular at the time. Kids with learning disabilities struggled with those tests, trying to track where to mark their answers on the answer sheets. That was just plain cruel.
Now, after years I can describe only as miserable while trying to meet those standards, I am eager to see WASL’s behind slinking down the hallway in utter failure. Veteran teachers I worked with at the dawn of WASL predicted it would eventually be gone and forgotten. They were right, but it took longer than they expected. I am anxious to see what takes its place.
Of course, my confidence has taken a major hit in recent years as I struggled to get my students up to snuff in the key subject areas, especially after the push of the Education and Secondary Education Act, otherwise known as “No Child Left Behind.” I shall stick with the official title, abbreviated as ESEA. All I can say is, if the head cheerleader for ESEA is a model for what we hope for its goals, good luck. Test scores, especially a single, high stakes test given once a year are not the best way to measure the growth of children. The results of such tests are no way to measure the effectiveness of a teacher, either.
A few years back, I was singled out because my class did well on the Reading part of the WASL. I was quizzed as to my teaching methods, and it seemed I was thought of as some sort of fount of wisdom. The same year, my students’ Math scores tanked. My response was, “If I take credit for those reading scores, I have to take credit for the math scores. No thank you. There are too many other variables at work here.”
So, now I’m in the position of wondering, “When will this latest legislation fade into the black hole of “reform.”