Sunday, July 17, 2011

Unfair Teacher Accountability

In today's America most of the responsibility for learning is hung around the neck of teachers. In cultures that haven't lost sight of the obvious, a majority of the responsibility for learning still rests with the student and their parent(s).

Suppose a student refuses to even try? The teacher is still responsible. Suppose a student is a chronic truant and absent a third of the school year? The teacher is still responsible, Suppose the student refuses to do any homework? The teacher still is responsible. Suppose an African-American student is convinced that learning is "acting white?" Suppose a youngster's parents are abusive and neglectful? The teacher still is responsible. Suppose the student is a junkie or alcoholic. That doesn't matter. The teacher still is responsible. Suppose the student is dumb as a bag of rocks? That doesn't matter. The teacher still is responsible. Suppose slack administrators have allowed the school to become a madhouse? That doesn't matter. The teacher still is responsible. Suppose instructional resources are utterly inadequate? That doesn't matter. The teacher still is responsible.

This sort of "accountability" would be regarded as insane in any serious context. Imagine holding a swim instructor responsible for a student's inability to swim even though the youngster absolutely refused to go near the water. Imagine holding a piano teacher responsible for a child's poor playing even though the kid is tone deaf and has no piano to practice on. Imagine holding a ballet teacher responsible for a student's inability to dance when the she skipped a third of the lessons and is morbidly obese.

If posturing politicians don't stop trying to heap unfair accountability on teachers, no one with an IQ over 90 will choose the profession.

1 comment:

Fowl Ideas said...

Holding parents accountable for their role modeling might help.

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