It seems that it is open season on teachers. People are questioning their integrity as well as their competency in light of recent achievement test results. The large majority of teachers have high integrity and work hard to enhance the education of their students. It is too easy to put the major blame for the poor academic results of our students on the backs of teachers.
The New York Times recently published an article which profiled many of the top ranked teachers in the NYC school system. According to the article, about 12,000 teachers were evaluated. One of the top ten teachers is Alison Epstein who teaches 2nd grade. In spite of her top ranking, she “is not a big fan of rating systems in which she excelled. She cautioned against penalizing teachers whose students did poorly on state exams, saying there were too many vairables, from having supportive parents at home to being able to focus and read instructions carefully on test day.” Further, she stated, “the pressure for teachers and children to perform for tests that do not really show how intelligent a student is or how amazing a teacher may be is substantial.”
If you want your children to learn, remember that education begins at home. Encourage your youngsters to read and enthusiastically support their good reading habits. Stimulate their dreams, thoughts and insights by having them read about current events rather than watch the talking heads on electronic media. I cited a study in my first book, Marketing to the Affluent, that said: “The total number of words on a half hour television newscast would fill only a bit more than half of a typical newspaper page.” Those who produce the printed word are a big cut above those in the talking head variety in terms of quality writing and reporting.