Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Teachers as professionals

From a reader:
In response to a Bee article:

I hope Michael Kolbert writes more about the deleterious ways in which high stakes-standardized testing – and the scripted curricula that tend to accompany it – have narrowed education in our local districts. As a teacher educator, I have seen what he describes -- a curriculum that is seriously impoverished, where students read for the sake of reading but don’t read about anything, or at least not about any thing that they are interested in, that helps them understand themselves and their world, or that keeps them curious and enthusiastic about learning and school. This focus on reading and math, particularly in high poverty schools, provides a third class education to children who will be ill-prepared by school to be anything but third class citizens. Though Mr. Kolbert includes the perspectives of several teachers, my teacher friends – all highly trained and committed professionals working in high poverty schools -- tell me that they feel deprofessionalized, that the scripted curriculum and lack of science and social studies lessons leave them uninspired, and that the distorted focus on testing frustrates them. But, most of all, they feel a sense of despair that this current way of organizing school is already leaving so many of their high poverty students behind.

Dr. Pia Wong
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