For too long we have disrespected those who have trained and worked all their lives to be educators.  It is dumbfounding.  We don’t do this with medical doctors.  We don’t do it with attorneys or mechanics or welders or carpenters.  Yet we constantly act as if those who work with children, who have years of schooling and years of experience, have learned nothing and so their knowledge is ignored.

Exhibit ONE for this attitude was when our state board of education hired a state superintendent in 2016 with no formal training in education who never worked a day as a teacher, principal or administrator of any kind.  It was the ultimate expression of disrespect.

And so it is again when the state board is supposed to look at a resolution on Aug. 10 to cast aside millions of taxpayer dollars and countless hours of blood, sweat and tears by teachers simply because someone’s political agenda is not aligned with the common sense of educators.

As we discussed here, once again we will spend time rehashing for the umpteenth time the merits of our Alabama College & Career Ready standards.

I have shared thoughts of bona fide, honest-to-goodness, real life professional educators in the previous post.  But here are two more than must be heard.  One is a principal and one a superintendent.  The principal first:

“I didn’t major in curriculum design.  I majored in elementary education. I have spent thirty of the fifty-two years God has given me on earth in the same elementary school. 

I am not the right person to ask about research and case studies.  I am just one of the puppets continually jerked around by the puppet
masters in Montgomery. I do know that if the folks in Montgomery would decide on SOMETHING, on ANYTHING, and stick with it, it would make life in schools a lot better.

There are several things which should be considered when they waffle yet again on what they want us to do.  What about all of the professional development we have received?  Do we start over?  What about all of our efforts to make sure the teachers had access to the standards, understood them, and were teaching them?  Do we start over?  What about the textbooks that our district
couldn’t afford to buy in the first place?  Do we throw them out and buy more we can’t afford?  Which people will decide on our new standards? 

This is my favorite part of the resolution

Whereas the emphasis on the Common Core standards and accountability may have deterred smart, creative young people from entering into careers in public education

That would be funny if I didn’t know that folks in power in Montgomery actually believe that.  Then it just becomes sad.  The circus in Montgomery makes people not want to do this and makes those of us that do it not want to much longer.” 

The superintendent:

“I am at a loss for words as it relates to this except a couple of words I will not use in an effort to stay professional. Let’s see….eliminate Aspire and go to Scantron for one year…..send out RFP for assessment for the next year.  (Why is RFP on assessment being sent out before standards are defined?)    Very smart move to ensure teachers go two full years without any continuity of data that can be used to drive instruction.

Next begin process to review and revamp standards which if done correctly will take quite some time. Maybe 18 months at best. Does this mean we will end up with Scantron for two years or will we adopt an assessment ahead of decision on standards? Given the assessment must align with standards, not sure how this will work. I suspect the decision on what standards will look like and what assessment will be has been made.  State superintendent should know that decision on standards must come first.

I bet you lunch that if he stays he will put together a committee on standards and on assessment and although he says it will be a collaborative process he will simply lead or have his people lead us to a predetermined place. Again, demonstrating a complete disrespect for rank and file educators.

I hope there will be some positive developments soon. If not, I think we are going to see more people speaking up. I talked with another superintendent this week who is absolutely furious and ready for open rebellion.”

The way things have unfolded in the last 12 months, open rebellion sounds better and better.