Sunday, November 20, 2011

Don't Blame The Teachers

My daughter, having moved from a Catholic school to a public school this year, has had her first encounters with illiterate peers. Some of the students in her pubic high school cannot read without extensive help.

About two or three times a week, we get automated phone calls from the school district that give us her teachers' current assessments of her work. From the sound of it, the teachers must be filling out standard forms for each student and then the district has a text-to-speech computer that makes the phone calls.

Last week, her English teacher called me personally to talk about her progress. There was something going on that he wanted me to nip in the bud - she was texting during class. It took us about three phone calls to finally connect, but the teacher never gave up trying to talk to me. That was a lot of effort on his part for something that was pretty minor.

The school has a decent website where you can find your child's grades, down to each assignment. When my daughter doesn't turn one in, we usually get an automated phone call from the district's computers letting us know.

And yet, for all of this, there are plenty of kids who can't read or get a lousy education. It seems to me that the majority of the fault lies with the parents. I can't see how spending more and more money on education is ever going to fix this.



Kelly the little black dog said...

One question. Does the "staffing" represent bodies that your child interacts with, or bodies in the front office pushing paper? The teachers I know haven't seen any reduction in work load over the period that shows an increase in staff.

K T Cat said...

Dig this.

At her old Catholic school, we had an office staff probably 1/5 of what I saw at the comparable public school and we kicked their asses every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Meanwhile, we're told we need to spend more on education.

Uh huh.