Age: 20, b-day is 8/27. Graduate of MLK High in Nashville, TN. Attends MU in PA. Loves football, soccer, Frisbee, Scouts, Science Olympiad.
By: Astrometeor , 5:30 AM GMT on February 09, 2014
This part is more dedicated to the teachers whom I have encountered more so than the first part. As in, the negativity shown to good teachers by the school board/central office and the floundering of officials when they find someone who is actually accredited to teach and is an accomplished person in several fields.
Remember the Grading for Learning blog entry I made a while back? If not, here's the link: Grading for Learning blog post. Teachers were told not to criticize the policy, lest they want to receive a pink slip. Some teachers felt threatened, but the old and experienced teachers at my school laughed at Central Office's foolishness, and went ahead and told the student body about the new grading policy. Which is now severely affecting students' grades (for example my little brother's grades) and causing nightmares for some teachers....but that's another story.
During a meeting with my AP Calculus teacher (due to me not doing my homework...) the school asked my mother to take up the cause against the Grading for Learning policy, being that my mother is a 10+ year veteran in dealing with MNPS-Metro Nashville Public Schools. Right now, it seems to be that the current plausible method of attack against MNPS's ludicrous policies is simple-don't follow them. Well, what about that pink slip threat Astro? Baseless threat, I reply. First of all...it would be quite hard to follow several stellar teachers from my school on the basis of not following a rather immature policy. Teacher Unions' exist for the protecting teachers against threats like these. But Astro, didn't you say you don't like unions? Yes, I did, but they are here for a reason, and not everything they do is bad, some things are well needed, especially when the public is rather ignorant on the issue.
Anyways, we (anti-Central Office folks) got our answer so to speak on whether or not MNPS could back up their threats-in two unfortunate ways. First, my honors chemistry teacher contracted cancer...she's currently fighting a serious fight. It took MNPS nearly a year to find a replacement. That was for honors, mind you. We also had to replace an AP position recently, after the teacher fled to a local charter school after being harassed by Central Office. We only filled the position quickly because a neighboring county was in the midst of a budget crisis. Now, imagine if a whole bastion of teachers took a concerted pledge against Grading for Learning. What is MNPS going to do? Fire them? And leave the kids without a capable teacher? Lol, they wouldn't survive the resulting criticism...and investigations.
Now, why do I doubt the school district's ability to find a position? There is a Tennessee State University professor who retired from college recently. He holds several degrees, and of course, decades of teaching experience. He applies for a job with MNPS. Their basic reaction is a confused one, not knowing where to put a man who is well-talented because his degrees are in select sciences, not the generic sciences such as physics, chemistry, biology that are taught in schools. Don't ask me why or how they came to that decision, I have no clue. Granted, I have limited knowledge on this particular case, only knowing what tidbits by mother has gleaned off from respectable sources.
Let me give you a brief factual review on the AP teacher that left for the charter school. She is a truly amazing teacher, one that I got to witness teach for about two weeks. Then she left for the charter. They offered her an amazing job proposal, good pay supplemented with retirement pay from MNPS. So, she left. She had taught for one year at my school...after being fired from a previous MNPS school for supporting the students. You can read the article behind that story here: Teacher vs MNPS. You can draw your own conclusions about that battle.
That being said, what is the solution? The common response would be to elect people to the school board and hire a superintendent who actually has an inkling of an idea of how to run a school system. For my school, dozens of parents have/do want to take the school to a charter school, and use something similar to a voucher system. Unfortunately, there is no way we're going to achieve that with the current school board personnel. Which brings us back to the first option.
Thanks for reading Part Two of this particular topic. Comments below are greatly appreciated!
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.