I apologize for my scarcity around these parts. Eventually, this blog will be back to a solid 4 or 5 days of content out of seven, but as many of you know, teaching is hard work. With both my time and my energy reduced by returning back to school something had to give. I did it for the second half of last year so I’m pretty sure I can do it this year too.
The main impetus for me returning to the blog was a few outstanding things I saw happening on the internet. One was an article by the brilliant Edushyster who found a leaked TFA memo that showed plans for 50 new Chicago charter schools. This plan was a slide from a January 2013 Board of Directors meeting.
I once thought of TFA as being a nuisance and a waster of talent and passion. They took people who cared about kids and had great college transcripts, gave them little training, and burned them out from ever being teachers for more than 2 years. The mission of TFA has changed however, and they are now actively crushing teachers unions and forcing out experienced teachers in locations where there is no teacher shortage. They are sabotaging public schools and I will go out of my way to expose any sponsors or financial supporters of this insidious organization.
Today was day 10 in the Chicago Public Schools. There will be more layoffs coming at schools that were short of CPS projections for enrollment. Every dozen students that charters raid from neighborhood schools is one experienced and certified teacher who will be out of a job. The way that the rules of have been set up by the city, there is no mutual survival. The only way that public education survives is if the current charter status quo is defeated.
Back to high stakes testing. I don’t know a single student — I’m sorry, I have a lot of friends, and I have friends at other schools too — I don’t know a single student who says that they learned something from a high-stakes test, and the way that their school is structured. They should be given the freedom to learn what they want to learn, open curriculum, well-rounded, arts, music, humanities….
[Followup: Here’s a further exchange between Hannah and Michelle Rhee]
This easy to followexplanation will leave you with plenty of TIF knowledge to impress your neighbors