It’s demoralizing for students, parents, teachers and communities when they know that their schools are making solid academic progress, yet still see them listed in the local paper as “not making the grade.”And
At one recent town hall meeting on NCLB convened by the AFT, the comments of a fourth-grade teacher from Boston reflected this demoralization: “The entire reputation of our school hangs on one test,” she said. “It’s not about balanced curriculum, enrichment or learning anymore. It’s all about avoiding that ‘failing school’ label.”
Educators also tell us they are required to administer test upon test upon test, including school, district and state tests. This layering of tests leads to an excessive amount of what should be instructional time being diverted instead to testing and drill-and-kill preparation, which results in a narrowing of the curriculum to only those subjects being tested. Students should have science, social studies, the arts, history—and recess.And
Let me be clear: NCLB in its current form is burdensome and demoralizing to teachers, and yet they continue to teach and continue to adhere to requirements that allow them to teach because they have chosen the teaching of children as a career. But it is unacceptable to ask them to meet yet another unproven federal requirement.You can read the entire statement here (pdf).
Teachers want to be effective. And schools must be places where teachers feel they can be effective. We ask too many teachers to teach and students to learn in conditions that frankly are shameful—in dilapidated school buildings, without the basic materials they need, and in unsafe conditions that are hardly conducive to teaching and learning.