Don’t Blame The Teachers

I know that with all the budget cuts and perceived problems with our Minnesota school system people are getting frustrated and more and more I’m hearing vitriol aimed at our teachers.

It’s my understanding that Minnesota has some of the best teachers in the country and in my own personal experience that held to be true. We rank #1 in Academic Achievement, 2007-2008 and rank high in almost every possible category, except salaries and price spent per pupil.

The Strib published this excellent letter from Michael Kennedy: Teachers aren’t the problem that articulates some of the obstacles teachers face and addresses the criticisms in a way that should make school administrators and politicians feel like a naughty 5th grader.

To the politicians, commentators, educational consultants and others who feel the entire problem with education is the quality of teachers in certain schools: Back off. Go sit in the corner and put on that dunce cap. We’re the best asset you’ve got, and you are either too blind to see it or too limited in your imagination to grasp the fact that we are the strongest link in the chain. We are not the problem. We are the solution, but we cannot do our work as well as we wish unless you take some responsibility for the following factors in limited public education:

He then goes on to list several factors that make or break a school system, I’ll just show you this one as it rings most true with my beliefs.

1. Stability.
Schools that work in communities with stable populations do far better than schools where the populations are in perpetual turnover. Parents and students need to know what is expected of them from year to year in order to plan for the future. Schools with a stable faculty, a stable curriculum and reasonable expectations over the long run tend to do better. Schools with populations of families that move a lot — or with administrators who shift in the winds of intimidation or indifference — do poorly.

I’m looking at you run-around-Superintendants that start a job with a shell game where one hand shuffles the curriculum to the latest fashionable teaching methods while the other hand is filling out resumes for a higher paying/profile job.

Hey Meria Carstarphen, what lesson are you teaching kids?

Speaking of St.Paul the St. Paul school board OKs $25 million in budget cuts.

My favorite comment addresses Big Pappy Timmy Pass The Taxes On Pawlenty

“First budget kuts fall on the letter “c”.
ST. PAUL, MN – AP – Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s first announsed kut today was to remove the letter “c” from the alphabet. His reasoning is that we kan do just fine with about 95% of the kurrent letters, so losing a konsonant is not as big of a deal instead of a vowel. As well, the letter “c” kan easily be replased by either the letters “k” or “s” and was just another example of government waste.
posted by halfabubble “

Now that’s satire.

I’ll bet halfabubble had some good teachers.

2 Comments so far

  1. jarrin on June 19th, 2009 @ 7:17 pm

    I’m moving back, in spite of this news, to teach in Minnesota! I was a teacher in the Hopkins School District from 2001-05 and am returning there.

  2. David (jacc) on June 19th, 2009 @ 10:04 pm

    @jarrin – I have cousins that went to school in Hopkins and they loved it.

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