With the long awaited news that Wisconsin students test scores may not be as good as we once thought finally released, I have to wonder what the political implications will be? This isn't anything new, as I recall in 2011 sitting in and watching committee meetings in the State Legislature making reference to the change in reporting from Wisconsin's old standards to the NEAP. As someone who was in the classroom this past school year, I'm concerned with what we are doing to try and raise these scores.
Here's how I, in overly-simplified terms, see it: We aren't demanding enough from our students from an early enough age. Reflecting upon it when I went back into the classroom, I didn't have enough demanded of me when I was in school. This isn't just a problem of high schools, it reaches all the way down to the elementary level. Unfortunately so many people are going to take the easy way out, blame the teachers for the falling scores and not look at the greater societal ills which contribute to these results.
- You can argue to me that class size doesn't matter, but I would have loved for you to spend a week or more in my classroom this past year. Days where students were gone and I had 26 students vs 31 students were starkly different in productivity
- You can argue that teachers are the problem, and I won't dismiss them as one factor. But I'll also point out that they really can't do a damn thing in a post Act-10 system to go against what their district's ideology is
- You can argue that schools are too administratively top-heavy, and I will counter by asking "what administration: building level or district level? Plus, are they listening to what teachers are saying about their students, or simply forcing a doctrine on their teachers which they don't believe in?
I'm not going to say that the test scores are wrong, or beat my chest that myself and my former teacher colleagues are the best teachers in the world and don't deserve any of the blame. But what I won't stand for, is when the parade of politicians over the next day, week, months, start to co-op this report for more teacher-bashing and not look at what societal issues contribute to these numbers.
Not that I'd expect it from Republicans. They likely created or have exacerbated the societal problems. #Justsayin'