Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Legislator Response

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear
As I was packing my things to leave school, I checked my email one last time. Who do you suppose had written me? Kentucky's Governor Steve Beshear! Okay, so he didn't write me, but his office did. I was informed that my letter has been forwarded to the Secretary of Education and Workforce Development, Joseph Meyer, for further review. I've never heard of that guy, but he seems important. Forwarding the message is always a good thing, though I had hoped to hear a bit more from the governor himself.

I'm sad to say that I haven't heard a word from Yarmuth, McConnell or Fischer. I also sent my letter to Rand Paul (R) after having a heck of a time navigating his website. He is another legislator I have not heard back from.

Honestly, I'm not sure what I expected. I hope others are sending in their own correspondence or calling legislators. I can't help but wonder if it was sheer apathy that saddled teachers with the blame during these audits. I regret to say that I sat on my hands last year while dozens of teachers were shuffled and schools were completely changed for no reason other than test scores. I should have acted last year, but I didn't. Instead, I'm choosing to act when it's my own school on the line. I hope there are those who are not as shortsighted as I was. It seems selfish and callous to ask for help when I didn't give it last year, but I honestly, and naively, believed the audits wouldn't happen again. I truly believed that the Department of Education would look at the audits, realize it was a waste of time and resources and never try it again. I sorely mistaken.

What would happen if the teaching population of Jefferson County cried out as one and said no? What would happen if the parents and students joined that chorus? Is there really anyone that thinks these audits are a good idea? You know who doesn't like the audits? My students. Below are some quotes from them regarding their feelings on the audit. The quotes will not be attributed with names or any type of identifier as all of my students are minors. I removed names and adjusted some spelling.

"I don't like the audits. We weren't even one of the worst schools. Other schools were worse, but they got audited last year. That's not fair."

"I don't like seeing my teachers stressed out. I don't want Mr. [Name removed] to have to leave because he's a great teacher. I'd miss him if he were gone."

"I don't understand why we were audited. We're a good school."

"I'm just glad it's over and I hope we never have to do it again. I hope all of my teachers are safe."

"I hated the audit! Everyone was so tense! I don't like strangers in my school. They came in with their suits on acting like they were better than us. They aren't better than us! I bet they couldn't teach as good as Ms. [Name removed]."

"What was the point of the audit any way?"

"I don't think the audit was fair. I only saw one auditor for five minutes in one class. How do they know what that class is really like after five minutes?"

Some of the quotes had to be left out because the students were so upset that their anger was a bit too obvious. We wrote a journal so that they could talk through their feelings on the audit. Most of them were very upset when it was all over.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...