Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Who Should We Really Hold Accountable?

This piece by Superintendent John Kuhn, hits the nail on the head:

1) poverty is a huge problem that those in power are ignoring

2) who in the decision-making realm is held accountable to help develop an education system that helps to alleviate and remedy the effects of poverty on a child's education?

Instead, these very same people are trying to hold teachers accountable to solve this instead. I am a teacher who just spent and entire day teaching and then had conferences until late tonight. I barely had time to say goodnight to my own children. Still, I love conference night. I love meeting parents and helping their children. I teach good kids, but the struggle from the effects of poverty: illiteracy, busy working schedule, struggle to meet basic needs, etc... These kids need something more: time to do homework after school, parent outreach, family support so they don't have to be the family's primary caregiver after school, books in their house, school supplies, and food for starters.

The policymakers here in Oregon refuse to address these issues. They ignore poverty hoping it will just go away, and believe that if we just hold our teachers accountable even more, then this problem will be solved. Sorry to say, but this it is a waste of time and taxpayer dollars to go forward with this OEIB plan. Instead, they need to finally talk about providing equitable funding and a quality, well-rounded education to every child in this state. And they need to ask their teachers, parents, and students what is important in developing that.

When I think of all the time and energy that has gone into reinventing the ed reform wheel, it is frustrating, as the same amount of time could have gone into solving our funding problem. The public spoke to this fact at each and every OEIB public input meeting. The question is: will they listen? Time will tell.

"I say baloney. Poverty can be contained; it's just that no one wants to do it. "Inequality is inevitable" would make a really pathetic national motto, wouldn't it? So quit screaming at me to put out these fires faster and admit just once that there's an arsonist on the loose. "

John Kuhn

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