Tuesday, February 28, 2012

We're All in This Together

As you may remember, back in my middle-school-teaching days, I had a Teacher Data Report. I blogged about it, shrugged it off, and didn't give it much more thought.

Until Friday, of course.

Many of my friends still teach middle school, God love them, and so I spent a lot of time over the weekend consoling friends whose data reports didn't shake out so well. They, of course, were decidedly less pumped than usual to go back to work today.

I now teach high school, so most of my colleagues didn't have the pleasure of having their names attached to a more-or-less-completely-meaningless number over the weekend. The vibe in my school this morning was decidedly low-key. No one was upset or nervous or humiliated the way that many of my friends--fine, dedicated teachers, the kinds who have done things like give free guitar lessons, inaugurate yearly school plays, and build reading areas in their classrooms themed to the book du jour--were this morning.

I mentioned the release of the scores to a colleague with whom I'm close, and mentioned the frustration and humiliation my friends felt. "Oh?" she asked. "What's that about, anyway?"

She never taught the lower grades. She had no idea.

Now I'm sure that NYC Educator and many of our regular readers do not need to be reminded that we are all in this together. After all, the day is surely coming when all teachers will get to experience the thrill of having their names published along with test scores and "value-added measures" of dubious accuracy and value. But maybe, just maybe, some of my colleagues, both in my school and across the city, need to realize the gravity of this situation. Maybe high school chapter leaders need to open their next meetings with a moment of silence for Rigoberto Ruelas.

We are, indeed, all in this together, and we can't forget it.
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