Thursday, December 15, 2005

READER RESPONSE -- Your kids are s*%t

Posted by Craig Westover | 7:43 PM |  

I’m really at a loss for words on this one, but let me frame it by saying these two guys are NOT typical teachers, but they are typical of the emails I’ve been receiving on my Q-Comp column and apparently those being received by Pioneer Press Associate editor Mark Yost as well.

The first is from an ex-teacher criticizing my column.
I remain baffled by this insistence of evaluating the performance of teachers based on the performance of their students. I left teaching exactly because it wasn’t enough that my own behavior and performance were exemplary, which they were, may I add; I was evaluated on the performance of people whose behavior and performance I had little to no control over, namely, my students. I’m not talking about being evaluated for my pay (I was on the much-maligned seniority system, of course), I’m talking about being evaluated as a professional. I had no credibility in the public’s eye based on my own merits… all anybody seemed interested in was how my students did. I do not know of any other position in the Minnesota workplace where an individual is evaluated on the performance of *somebody else*! You might say that head coaches on professional sports teams get fired when their players do not perform up to expectation. I guess I’m not sympathetic because I don’t know any teacher who makes what Mike Tice makes, and I don’t think teachers should make that much money anyway. Business managers may be evaluated on the performance of their subordinates, but they have the power to hire and fire. Teachers don’t hire and fire their students.
I did say ex-teacher, right? Misery loves company, so I shared this email with Mark, who forwarded to a teacher critical of Mark’s column. Here’s the response he received.
Bravo to that teacher! You guys sit in your little heated offices with all the amenities and have no clue what goes on in the classrooms. There is no respect, no fear and no retribution for the shit today that we label as students. Their motto (and their parents) "Give me instant gratification even though I have done nothing to earn it." A perfect example was today in my Concert Band dress rehearsal. After the second number....... I looked at them and asked "Are you proud of that?" Thank God it snowed and the concert was cancelled and we spared the public of another flogging of the ears.
A regular Mr. Holland, that guy.

So we have parents giving up on the education system, unmotivated students and teachers that regard their students as s*%t. Tell me again why we won't provide vouchers to the apparently very few interested parents so they can escape the hellholes these teachers describe and place their students in schools where there's a little more optimism?

Update: Another party heard from --
yeah, if we only had school vouchers the kids whose parents are smoking meth all day would get a quality life....
Category: Education, School Choice