Teacher Survey Comments #1
For further information about these comments see:
Teacher Survey Summaries on 20 issues
Actual Survey Given to Teachers
(This is the first section of about 30 pages of Teacher Survey Comments that were written on the actual surveys. For the second section of comments, follow the link at the end of this section.
There is no way Arkansas can improve the quality of education unless the state department and legislators listen to the
teachers! Quality teachers can not be kept or hired unless Arkansas teachers receive a large pay raise. We are sick of doing "more for less" we have pride too. We are sick of hearing this phrase from our Superintendent, and being told to be proud of it. I am a single parent, I work 3 jobs to support myself and my children. If I were paid enough I could certainly have time to be a better teacher, not to mention the extra energy I would have to devote to my students.
This survey is an answer to our prayers!!! In a recent building meeting I had just mentioned the fact that we need to get a letter writing campaign going. These letters I wanted would go to Dr. Ray Simon. As an educator of 25 years I feel all these new reforms are overtaxing the workload of teachers who have little time to plan as it is. We have all these extra meetings to be trained in Smart Start, ELLA, etc. plus the testing and grading of these programs in addition to the regular classroom curriculum, it is all too much! This is driving good teachers out and causing less people to want to go into the education field; which is fast approaching a shortage. The madness of all these reforms has got to stop. Let us get back to the good old days of teaching the basics and concentrating on these subjects along and forget these extra burdens of time. Thank you for sending this survey and allowing people in the "trenches" to be heard.
Testing has taken over; we have little teaching time. Pressure from all around will make people cheat - teach the test. Learning and the children should be considered. I am accountable and I love children. Stress is unbelievable for us at school. I am all for new methods, but things are a lot of what we have been doing all along. We are asked to do more and more. Meetings are overwhelming, I wish the money for consultants were given to us for supplies or more counselors and social workers.
State and/or federally required teacher staff development programs and workshops are significantly improving
academic achievement depending on the program. State standards increase each year and the "type" of students we get each year decreases. There is a wider gap. I feel that I should be held a part of the responsibility but PARENTS should be responsible and accountable before I am. State Department needs to spend a year in the classroom again before they make decisions that are not "smart" and a reality. For example - there will always be children who score in the 1st quartile on standardized test no matter how hard we try and push children to learn. It's just a fact of life! ! ! We need more help in the classroom with instructional aides.
I think the ACTAP testing system and the SAT 9 Standardized tests are both very inadequate.
The McRat, I think, is good.
Smart Start is also inadequate
Schools are making improvements
State standards and curriculum frameworks and teacher prepared curricula should be combined.
State standards and curriculum frameworks need teacher input.
Competition should be the child competing against himself.
Portfolios, rubrics, checklists, and traditional letter grades and percentages are both needed.
There is too much emphasis on both the ACTAP and the SAT 9 tests.
I am not sure about the Smart Start Program. I think the ELLA and McRat are excellent programs.
In recent years the quality of education has not changed much.
COE staff development is of no value in improving student achievement and is an enormous waste of teacher time.
Teacher prepared curricula are superior to state standards and frameworks usually, but not necessarily. I only know one teacher who actually uses the state frameworks in preparing her curriculum, and she is a sorry teacher.
The recent educational reforms have had no effect on me except to waste my time in meetings.
Group work does not help lower level students in high school it just gets them a better grade because some one else does the work.
Success still depends upon what you know and what you can do for most students.
On the question about who should choose the curriculum and methods used in the classroom teachers and federal government should come first and second. The rest of those listed don't have a clue.
The #1 role in education, at least at my high school of about 1000 students, is never tell the truth. The #2 rule is everything is more important than academic class time; sports, testing, announcements, eating lunch with a civic club, a trip to see a play in French, pep rallies, choir trips and band trips. Please, can you get rid of Flex/waver days. We need more time with students, not more boring, pointless meetings.
All teachers are not going to do a good job, but frameworks, tests, and workshops won't change that. Put your money on teacher training for new teachers and early childhood education, the earlier the better, and parent training before they leave the hospital.
In recent years the quality of education has improved in some areas but declined in other. Competition in the form of classroom activities, grades, and scholarships increases achievement depending on student goal and personality.
Teachers should teach whatever method works best in their classroom. Too many new methods to use or try. Teachers spend too much time trying to learn these and implement in their classroom when their time could be used more beneficial in actual teaching.
COE staff development takes too much time.
Portfolios rubrics and checklists are too time consuming.
There are far too many programs. These require many after school hours for meetings and staff development. This takes away from the time spent on lesson plans and time to prepare educational materials. Over the next two weeks, I have meetings everyday after school, except for one day. These meeting are about testing! What about my family? Too much after school time!!!
If more "mandates" are going to come down from the legislature, they should deal with parents. Teachers are continually being mandated to do things that without parental involvement are impossible to do. Until parents accept their responsibility in the education of their children, all the laws requiring schools to reform are worthless. I love teaching and hate seeing what's happening in the name of reforms. It's time to FIRE the test makers and teach kids what they need to learn to be productive adults. Okay, I've got that off my chest. I will be happy to work with you and answer more questions.
Do you think students are overtested in the 8th grade and therefore test results are inconclusive because of testing burn-out?
All the money and technology, etc. - does not really help the learning process. All that is really needed is the teacher, the board, and chalk! (Or dry board and marker, or paper and pencil.)
There are too many outside forces telling school districts what and how to teach. The teachers have little say in how things should go. I have taught for 28 years. Tests and text books are too difficult for most of the children. I now see "K and grade one" are expected to do too much. They hate school by the second and third grade and it continues.
Money spent on new and/or national certification will not increase the teachers ability to improve the quality of education. This is socialistic - We need to teach democratic principles!
Too much emphasis is being put on tests scores. I can not believe that one test in a formal setting is a true representation of a child's achievement.
I'm near retirement and looking for other employment possibilities.
People that make these decisions and laws are too far removed from the classroom or schools to know what is best for educators or education. The law makers are clueless where the problems are. They need to pass legislation that makes parents accountable for their children's behavior as well as the parents behavior!
I have yet to find anyone that can tell me exactly what Smart Start is. They say "it's what we're doing," whatever that means.
McRat is good, but very time consuming.
Portfolio's, rubrics, and checklists don't work.
Competition is out there in the real world. Why not in the classroom?
I could go on and on, but I end here. Good luck
In recent years our schools are experiencing more government control. " Huckabee's Regime"
In recent years I have been encouraged and/or coerced to use curriculum, teaching techniques, or methods that are ineffective or even destructive to students achievement. For example Smart Start.
I am in a school with 40% minority and 87% free lunch. How will we compare to predominantly white school with higher economic backgrounds?
With Smart Start, ELLA, Effective Literacy, Lightspan, etc., we are "cramming" too much down little children's throats. We are doing too much, in too little time, and not mastering any of it. We are saying that all the masses are to be educated the same on a college preparatory course. What about the child with below average intelligence, who doesn't qualify for special education, but is doing the best he/she can do? Does the world not require service workers as well?
I will be doing everything within my power to see Huckabee defeated next election!
Frameworks are fine if the emphasis on testing were not so rigid!
Portfolios, rubrics, and checklists are more effective forms of reporting achievement than traditional letter grades and percentages, but the time element for teachers doing this is almost impossible.
Having taught 31 years I've seen many good and bad changes. The enormous work load of educators is entirely too much. A good teacher works almost as many hors at home as in the classroom on paperwork.
Money for teacher salaries must be increased in order to attract the "best" in education - state legislated! I have no problem with teacher accountability as long as parents are also held accountable for student behavior and the many variables from home which interfere with "that" students learning as well as the learning of others.
Every profession has weak links but the weak links are few and the strong teachers are many in the field of education. But new teachers are going to be hard to find because of the workload and classroom discipline problems.
If teachers had full control of discipline within the classroom, I feel that the education of every student would be greatly improved. The way it is now, students themselves will tell their teacher that they're going to tell their parents and that their dad will come after us. Students will get by with anything they can - they know that teachers cannot touch them nowadays. If there is no discipline, there will be no learning. Behavior problems within every classroom causes even the students that want to learn to fall very short of an education. Teachers need to be able to teach and this can only be done if teachers are in full control of their own discipline problems.
The main thing that is missing from the survey is any recognition at all of the part of parents in any part of the process. The closest you come is (actually, the only time you come close) is the last question when you include "school board members".
In my opinion the educational process here in Arkansas is primarily for athletics. What monies that are left over are primarily used to run from on quick fix to another.
The new IDEA interpretations along with additional "modifications" for 504 students are weakening an already crumbling educational structure. New disciplinary regulations coupled with increased demands on teacher involvement are leading to "lip service" to be able to say new standards are being met while actual services are practically non - existent. As a special educator, the paperwork demands and requirements are too much to do an adequate job, much less even begin to meet students needs.
Quality of education offered to students has improved - learning has declined.
Teacher prepared curricula are superior to state standards and frameworks. - This is a case by case question, depending on the teacher and or standard.
Some questions on student discipline should be included.
Your survey questions are too vague. They should be more specific.
Ex: #20 Should be two questions! The order in choosing curriculum may be different from choosing methods. Parents should be added to the list.
Ex: #5 What type of test?
Achievement test: A student should only be tested on what he or she has been taught!
Criterion reference test:
Numerous programs are funded through Federal Grants. This generates paperwork & time-consuming data collection.
Administrators' only concerns are increasing standardized test scores.
The quality of education (or educators) is excellent. The results have declined due to a decline in the school populations' ability to learn.
Site-based decision making is a joke.
I do not feel free to publicly express my opinions about educational reforms. I would be assigned every extra duty that could be created for the duration of my teaching career.
The SAT-9 and the ACTAP testing system are both ineffective in reflecting student ability.
An accountability system that rewards individual teachers or schools for improved test scores will have more negative consequences than positive. - Talk to teachers in Tennessee.
Smart Start, ELLA, and McRat are programs that are state developed and are written to the tests; of course, they improve the scores.
Test scores are directly correlated to population demographics - check the demographics!
State and/or federally required teacher staff development programs and workshops are getting better.
In recent years the quality of education has stayed the same - homes are worse, control of own classroom is worse.
State and/or federally required teacher staff development programs and workshops are getting
In recent years the quality of education has stayed the same - homes are worse, control of own
classroom is worse.
The recent educational reforms have contributed to more job dissatisfaction or caused me to
look for other employment. How can I teach to my best when I am required to do so many things.
ELLA is the only good program.
Smart Start is confusing and easily misinterpreted. The state department doesn't even know
what it is!
Academic Distress laws that punish schools for low scores and allow the state to take over a school are unfair and will have more negative consequences than positive ones. You can't make a child read the tests - or do his best.
Teachers should be the only ones to choose curriculum and methods to use in the classroom since none of the others are in the classroom anymore.
If we taught our students the way the State of Arkansas has "taught" us Smart Start -we would be fired! You can not make us implement something that is not finished, undefined and has no systematic approach.
I believe in accountability, but how about through teacher evaluations - not students. I have seen kids, who are very smart, fail the SAT-9 because they didn't want to read, they picked all NH's. They made designs on the bubbles; they didn't do the 1st - 6, etc. This is not a true reflection of the teacher's efforts.
Why should my accountability be based on someone else's performance. You will not find this in any other profession.
As a veteran teacher, I am frustrated by the increasing demands that I do more, raise test scores, teach values, don't fail anyone, prepare college-bound/AP kids so they can be competitive, increase parent contacts (call parents before sending our grade notices????), and on, and on. I don't know if there is a solution. I am beginning to feel that the entire public school system should be scrapped and we should start over.
Somewhere along the way we lost sight of the fact that the way for a person to feel good about himself is to truly achieve something-- not to have someone lower the standards so he can say he achieved something.
Teachers have too much busy work. Filling out form after form about activities and resources used gets to be too much. It takes away from teaching.
I see the teachers at my school so frustrated with everything right now. Everyone is afraid that the state dept. is going to come in and take over. We're supposed to find some kind of "magical" cure to make these children learn more when it seems so impossible.
When you don't have these children from birth and can't control what's happening at their homes, how can you be held accountable for all of their learning?
We're "dumbing" down so much. There's way too much emphasis on test scores. There should be someone to compare low test scores with high grades in the classroom. There are some children that don't test well, but perform beautifully. These kids are punished because of these requirements and miss out on scholarships, go to college and make great grades! Something needs to be done to make this more fair!
As with legislators, school board members should be limited in the number of times they can hold office. Too much power is placed in the hands of those that remain in office for more than five years. Then what is "politically correct" becomes more important than the education of our young people. The same should hold true for employees of the state department of education!
I have taught in different school districts, and it hasn't mattered where I was teaching. The result was always the same. Each class achieved less than the class before them. Maybe you can find the correlation. This started along with the big push for special education. This isn't prejudice--I've taught resource and regular ed. I don't know how to solve the problem, I just know a correlation exists.
The staff development I attend helps achievement; but this year the emphasis is on test scores of tests that don't reflect what's taught in the classroom.
I don't have a problem with my students being tested for achievement as long as it tests what I've taught and isn't a standardized test that has "trick" questions for 5 year olds. State Dept., Government and local districts are forcing us to "teach the test" in order to improve scores.
So much time and money are being wasted with negative results. Example: portfolios, rubrics, and check
and checklists are a poor excuse for evaluating a student's work. All of these are very time consuming and frustrating. Keep up the good work, and may God richly bless.
The wording of this survey is slanted and it's too black and white. You obviously want all B answers and you present your "ranking" in the order you want. There needs to be some gray area, some more moderate choices.
Thanks for the survey. I hope it helps! For several years we have had poor guidance and leadership from or State Department of Education. It seems that they have been out of the classroom too long. The programs they "think up" are of no value and usually die after two or three years. Why don't they swallow their pride and visit a school system that uses ideas and programs that have been tried and proven to work?
I think it would be a wonderful idea for the General Assembly's Education Committee members to spend several days in various classrooms to view our everyday reality. I am tired of "out-of-touch" people making and mandating unreasonable and ineffective programs on the way that I conduct my classroom. I also believe administrators should be spending a minimum of one semester teaching classes every five to seven years! They forget what it's like.
In my opinion, the major reason for low achievement can be attributed to two things. One is the lack of respect for authority by students and parents, leading to difficulty in discipline and therefore, classroom management. The second problem is the laws governing special education in the main- stream classroom. I spend all my time modifying to meet IEP's for students who, no matter how many modifications are made, will never be able to read above the second grade level and therefore will be limited in their vocational opportunities. I'd love to teach one class where the expectations were the same for everyone who walked in the door.
The format would be more effective if it had a value rating. (ie: on a scale of 1-9, 1being least in favor and 9 being most in favor.)
Richard Allin's column in the "Democrat-Gazette" several weeks ago sums up my attitude toward educational responsibilities of teachers as well as any article that I've read in ten years. I fluctuate between anger and resentment when I ponder how to try to accomplish all that I am now asked to do. For nearly three decades I have tried to teach the "3 R's" and more. I have always felt tremendously humbled by my responsibility to model hope, commitment, perseverance, dedication and a belief in the process of the system to my students. I have never counted the hours it took to do my job, never declined receiving a call from interested parents anytime of the day or night or weekend, nor have I "moaned and groaned" about being underpaid. But I now confess resentment for being blamed for students' lack of performance that is more the result of dysfunctional parents and an overly permissive society than anything else. Education, by the very nature of it, is "process" and an increasing number of parents and patrons want to "short-circuit" the process. I do not care whether one is "left-brained" or "right-brained" or what his/her "learning style" may be, education is still a "process." To complete successfully a "process" takes discipline, and few today want to invest in the discipline necessary to do any process task, whether it be the educational development of children or something else. I realize that it seems much "simpler" to try to "fix" an educational system that graduates students that are functionally illiterate and cannot cipher than it is to address the real ills of society, but the desired results will never materialize. There is much that I can do to improve as a teacher; no one needs to tell me that, and I seek improvement every day. But the programs mandated for me to follow are only going to move me to exit this profession as soon as I can find a way to pay for health insurance.
Fine arts are very important in education. Please address the low emphasis of fine arts in your
I do not believe information from the State Department is always filtered to the teacher correctly. Could the State Dept. of Education meet with teachers not just administration?
Teachers are accountable , but so are the parents. Classroom control and discipline is in need of change. Too much time is lost filling out papers instead of teaching.
I have so much paper work (record keeping) to do that my students are not getting the best of my instruction time or the time I need for instructional preparation.
I believe our state dept. is actively pursuing methods to better educate, test, and evaluate Arkansas public school students. We must do better in core areas to compete in job markets, business ventures, and education in general. I do believe that testing does not accurately measure student ability because many students aren't good test-takers. Teachers need to be accountable-- It's not the student's fault, and sometimes the teacher has done all they can possibly do. Thanks for taking the time to ask us our opinion.
The amount of testing given on the kindergarten level is outrageous.
This was a great survey! Teachers who have been in the teaching profession are leaving and finding other jobs because of what is going on in our school system. There does not seem to be a concern for children anymore! The big concern appears to be which school district is most popular. Teachers are being asked to do more in the classroom with students, while behavior problems are so disruptive! Teachers are not being given adequate support from administration.
The big push is for higher MRT and Benchmark scores. These tests are not a true measuring tool for success! Are we setting our children up for failure, or to be dropouts at an early age?
I think we need to get back to grades and percentages and get back to the basics. Parents are
confused with portfolios and rubrics.
I am a teachers aid at an elementary school. I feel that teachers should be more in control of their than they are. Teachers depend on their aides to make too many decisions. In the class that I am in the teacher does nothing with the children, and she never corrects them until she gets mad.
I often have to teach because the teacher does not want to do it. I love to teach, but not whit the
teacher just sitting and doing nothing. I have heard other aides comment on the same thing.
Aides are very important in our schools today. A lot of kids would fall through the cracks if we were not there to teach them. That's what I want to do: one on one teaching, so I can help to make a difference. I also feel that aides don't get paid enough for all they do in the classroom. We are the ones that take care of the kids, and we're always there where ever they go or whatever they do, and the teacher is somewhere else. In our school, there is no one to talk to about these problems. The principle tells us that's our job, do it or quit. I feel that we are helpers, and not there to do the teacher's job. Thank you.
The United States will never compare in test scores with other countries as long as we educate the masses and other countries only educate the top 10%. So we need to get off this "dead horse" and quit beating it to death.
If we can make them have a "C" average to drive (when driving and education have nothing to do with each other), then why can't we make them have to have a "C" average to get a welfare check? Two benefits: 1) Parents will be more involved in children education, especially if their check is being cut, and 2) If they keep a "C" average, chances are good they will be able to get and keep a job and won't need welfare when they grow up.
The law says kids have to be in school until 17 years old. Schools can take them to court for missing too many days, but they want to take kids out of school to take their driving test. This should be done on a Saturday or during after school hours. Our laws make no sense. We want them to be in school, but let's take them out to drive!
I teach GED's in the Community Correctional Facility. The students are well taught, but they are dropping our of school. The lack of belonging and the fear of failure because of learning disabilities need to be addressed somehow in the school systems. Some students need longer to learn material. I think the teachers for the most part are doing a good job; but we need help for the child who does not fit the mold.
Teacher morale is lower than I have ever seen it. Teachers are frustrated and discouraged.
I'm a good teacher, and I have been teaching 29 years now. I'm concerned about some of the students that are beginning to come into the teaching field. They are not committed and some n't even like children!
I'm sure that some day the social services and school will merge; that schools will consolidate (three hundred and eleven school districts are too many!); teachers will be accountable for their instruction; schools will be safe; parents will be involved in their child's education; computers will replace some classrooms.
I feel that when the state is at the bottom on per pupil expenditures in the nation and the top in administrative salaries that something is wrong!! This should be at least equal or somewhat reversed in our poor state!
These new methods are adding to teacher shortage and are not contributing to a better
education for our schools.
Do you feel that the Special Education laws have created a school within a school?
Many of the answers are not clear cut. There needs to be a middle between A and B.
Far too much emphasis is being placed on test scores. Scores are being viewed as the indicator of student achievement rather than one of many indicators. We already have generations who cannot manipulate and use information; they have memorized facts for a specific test.
Education is no longer fun. Whatever we do, it is never right, never enough. There is so much pressure from so many directions that there is no time to have fun with the children.
I could never recommend to anyone to go into the teaching profession now, and that is a very sad commentary on one's profession!
This may not be a popular view, but title one assistants are not worth the money. I'm sure there are some who work hard, but I've seen way too many that are not good. Some would rather do "office things" than work with the children. I've even heard some say they didn't like working with the kids. I've seen an assistant put children out of her group because the child "got on her nerves." This was a child "at risk."
Every politician on his platform swears he will work to make schools better and provide adequate funding, etc. So why do we have to sell candy, jewelry, magazines, concessions, and hold fall festivals to raise money to buy supplies and gym equipment? Where is all this money "for the children?" I'll tell you where it is: by the time we pay all the bureaucrats to tell us how to run our classroom, there isn't any money (or time) to actually teach. The money is spent so they can make up new catchy phrases and programs for us to experiment within the classroom. By the time the system figures out that the last one doesn't work, they have dreamed up a new program to implement.
In the early nineties I was asked to serve on a committee of teachers who would meet in Little Rock to develop the portfolio assessment. I served on the secondary school committee. We were told we could develop what we thought would be beneficial to the student. This assessment would eventually become part of the exit exam. I returned to school, worked with our teachers, and we developed what we considered to be a very good portfolio assessment. The state committee I was on agreed that it was a good assessment and presented it to the committee chairperson. The committee chairperson presented it to Mrs. Gayle Potter. Mrs. Potter explained that the teachers could design this assessment, but it must be exactly what she wanted. I was unusually bold and told her my opinion: "If she wanted to design the assessment, don't tell me that I designed it." I don't agree with her assessment and will not accept responsibility for the design. I ask that she not waste my time with unnecessary meetings. If she wanted us to implement her assessment, she should write it and mandate it. Don't tell me that what she proposed was teacher driven, because it wasn't. I was never contacted again by anyone on the committee. I suppose I was dismissed. I read later that a committee of teachers presented Mrs. Potter's version to the State Dept. of Ed.. The teachers insisted that this assessment was teacher driven. This assessment was driven by Mrs. Potter and her chosen few. I feel that the assessment was driven by a group of state employees planning for "job security." It's not in the best interest of the student, or education. It is simply job security for those in the testing department at the state level. They jumped on the alternative assessment band wagon when grant money was available to fund their jobs. If they could have secured their jobs with another project grant that would have been the best idea. This movement in testing was driven by money.
I have been teaching for twenty-one years and I love my job today more than ever. I have been "called" to teach, and regardless of state mandates and other interruptions, I will continue to do my very best to educate our children. I am not angry about the reforms, but I do appreciate this opportunity to express my feelings.
Any help you can be with the inordinate amount of time we spend testing our children will be
appreciated. Some of the time we spend assessing our children could be better used instructing our children.
I thank you for your interest in education and appreciate your time.
It is not statistically sound to use one testing tool to measure a deficit and yet another testing tool to measure improvement after redemption. One should use the original testing tool to measure improvement or the lack of improvement.
Most staff development programs and workshops are a waste of time. Local teacher sharing ideas that really work would be more valuable. COE is a waste of time!!! New methods taught in these workshops are more wasted time.
Our school does well on ACT and SAT test now that we are changing teaching methods so that students can take a test. A test scores is only one day of a kid's life.
People who never see kids are making decisions for us. Students' needs vary from school to school. Who knows their needs better than the teachers who see them daily?
Grades are better than portfolios and rubrics. Most students and parents don't understand all that stuff. Everyone understands A,B,C,D & F.
SAT-9 tests are better than ACTAP test. We have too many tests. Other states like Oklahoma and Kentucky are doing away with the tests such as end of level due to these ACTAP type test. Several other states such as Kentucky and Oklahoma have abandoned end of level tests due to law suits - my child is making good grades, but just because he can't pass one test he can't graduate or get in college or my child does well on ACTAP or SAT, but can't pass this test - type of lawsuits. Why does AR never learn from the mistakes of others? Just about the time other states have decided something does notwork, we adopt it. Just let us teach. Older teachers are ready to quit due to all the hassle - no one wants to enter the profession. Something must change!
Alaska is now having to recruit teachers and really pay them. Everyone predicts a teacher shortage - get a clue.
Smart Start, ELLA, and McRat are additional "stress for nothing" programs. Administrators want them to make themselves look good.
A survey to determine just how much the average board member or superintendent actually knows would be interesting.
Re the Academic Distress laws- if they want school consolidation, they should have the guts to vote for it not torture people to death trying to get it this way. We all know which schools have problems, why put the rest of us through all this mess?
Thanks for providing teachers an outlet for their concerns.
COE is very time consuming and of no real value - just word games on paper.
Portfolios and rubrics are yet another fad that will become "out of vogue" in a few years.
They say that AR teachers made the ACTAP test. I say Who??? I have never met a teacher who actually helped create that mess.
Re the accountability or merit-type system. Let's face it. Teachers do not have classes with equal potential to excel.
Re: Smart Start, testing system etc. - they are complex, and misinterpreted; they "sound" good to the public.
Academic Distress laws are unfair. There are schools in our state that no one wants to teach in whether they are consolidated or remain as they are.
One of our math teachers attended a meeting to explain how the8th grade benchmark was scored. She was shocked to learn that students have their tests scored by temporary people who NOT math teachers. They explained that math teachers tended to understand what the child was doing and often "gave credit" when someone who did not understand math concepts might not. What is the purpose of this test? Are we trying to see how much our children know or trick them into making lower scores. We are now teaching students in our elementary grades to take the type of test the benchmark is, however, we have not taught our students in AR to take these tests in years past, therefore, our 8th grade and end of level geometry and Eng. will be at a disadvantage. I think we should give serious consideration to phasing these types of tests in.
I also feel strongly that we give TOO MANY TESTS.!!! When are teachers going to have time tot each? Our 8th grade takes 8 standardized tests a year. The counselor spends all of her time testing, and the teachers spend less time teaching. Which is more important. Which improves scores? As our "seasoned" teachers retire, we see fewer and fewer new graduates wanting to enter the profession. All of this additional "paper work," ineffective inservice training, and teaching to the tests are driving teachers out of education. More and more are retiring early. There was a time when we had time to know and understand the needs of our students. When students know teachers and know they care, they learn better. We are so stressed with paper work and "programs" to implement that we can't find time to stop and listen to a child. I am enclosing a copy of an article by Richard Allen that says it all.
you for caring!
More Teacher Survey Comments