As a teacher I get offended when non-teachers like Stephanie Hirsh, executive director of Learning Forward and Dawn Wilson Duval County’s director of professional development talk about improving teacher quality, (11/29 letter to the editor, Training Teachers). Sure teacher quality is an issue and we should always strive to put out best, brightest and most capable in our classrooms but they, like the editors of the Times Union, Bill Gates and many of the public are missing the real issues facing education.
Things will never truly improve unless we change the ways we do things. We can’t continue to under fund education, ignore discipline, socially promote children without the skills they need, have a one size fits all curriculum and put both teachers and children in situations were success is unattainable and expect to have success.
Teachers are just one part of the puzzle but recently they are the ones getting all the attention. Why does the public who refuses to adequately fund education by continuously electing politicians who don’t care about public schools, parents who abdicate their responsibilities, policy makers who hold teachers and children alike back with their inane procedures and the children themselves many of whom lack any sense of a worth ethic and an understanding of common manners get a pass?
All the professional development in the world won’t make a bit of difference until we work on the real issues facing education.