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It is easier to fool someone than to convince them they have been fooled.
                                                           - Mark Twain

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From the new book

Chaos in Our Schools:

From the new book

Chaos in Our Schools:

The Fallacy ofPerformance-based
Teacher Evaluation

School-Matters

 

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When documenting becomes the most important part of your job:

Continued from our HOME page:

From the new book
Chaos in Our Schools

There’s an insidious element in education that is unnoticed by most people. Schools are not set up for the children; they are set up for the convenience of the adults who run them

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     This comes from the penultimate (2nd to last) chapter in our new book, Chaos in Our Schools.  The entire book leads up to this chapter, which propegates the conclusion that kids cannot be the primary focus of schools any longer...not when their needs are placed in a subordinate position to the "needs" (read: DESIRES) of the adults who work with them.

     How can this be?  And what is the basis for this conclusion?  Reading the book will answer these questions, but here is a little more from that chapter:

Our schools, particularly at the elementary level, are operated with the guiding principles that

1)     Procedures and standards, copiously outlined, meet the education needs of students,

and

2)     Children should be arranged in groupings that are acceptable to the adults in charge.

 

This is nonsense, but at present, there is little that can be done to thwart these ideals because the teachers’ unions won’t allow for a sensible approach to education.

 

And, it is because of these two principles that a third principle also exists:

3)     Those who work with children must be regulated, lectured, and gaslighted by those who don’t.

 

Politicians and administrators had been stymied for years in their quest to get around the teachers’ unions, who set and control how teachers and students are assigned within schools.  Perhaps they thought their legislation would mitigate this. But instead of making the situation better, they have made it worse.  This is what happens when you try to put a Band-Aid on a cannonball wound.

The problems in education are shared and exacerbated by both sides of the coin: the teaching staff and the administration who supervise them.  It is an adversarial relationship that gets more contentious and (ironically) more euphemized every year.  The Edu-speak that guides every educator’s career (and I include administrators in that mix) has become the most important aspect of the game.  If one can manipulate these phrases and standards effectively, one will achieve success.  (Not for the kids, of course, but for oneself.)

Teachers work very hard to curry favor with the administrator who gives them their ratings.  Only a foolish person would not come to understand very clearly how human nature works in these situations.  Butter someone up and he is likely to reward you for that.

I’m sure the intent of SB 10-191 was to cause teachers to want to reflect on their practice of teaching and to grow from that reflection.  I have doubts that that happens in any meaningful way for most teachers, however.  There are not enough hours in the day or week to teach effectively and also keep up with requirements to prove you are teaching effectively, or that you are metacognitively evaluating yourself.  Unfortunately for the Colorado legislature, instead of rewarding quality teaching in Colorado, they have instituted a system of  rewarding the appearance of quality teaching.

Getting rid of this phoniness is necessary before our education woes can seriously be addressed.

The elites don’t want things to change, probably because they enjoy the money that follows programs and policies, as well as the accolades for a job well done.

Those who are not affected themselves by onerous requirements

are more likely to impose those requirements on others. 

This has been the case in school management for decades.

This has been an abridged glimpse of the chapter in our book called "The Bottom LIne".  For a glimpse at the rest of the chapters, see our TABLE of CONTENTS.  The click the link to purchase this game-changing book on Amazon.