Having arrived at the close of the first quarter of the new school year and obtaining completed fall conferences, I find there is not even the briefest pause in the frenzied push to bring all students to my states specified level of reading achievement as evidenced by a specified range of scores on my districts specified assessment. This frenzy continues on as even though all kids develop neurologically at a specified price, as though all children mature physically and emotionally at a specified price, as although their properties, environments, diets, bedtimes, physical exercise, and life stressors all align with a specified uniformity. It would appear as even though a specified time is spent, every evening, reading or becoming study to by all children in all residences, regardless of all the diversity of cultural and family norms today. Even much more ludicrous, it would appear that all time spent by all kids in front of all forms of electronic toys and devices, such as television and play-stations, is specified like content material and duration of time.
The momentum of this frenzy is becoming maintained and fueled, at least in my globe, beneath the umbrella of the RTI process (Response to Intervention) a procedure of progress monitoring come of age with the passage of Notion 2004. The constant assessment and information evaluation that accompanies this progress monitoring under this RTI paradigm shift is wearing me out, and my peers as properly. I discover myself caught in a quandary of when and how to carry out formal and informal assessment of benchmarks and progress monitoring during the instructional day. This information, after collected, should be analyzed aside from the demands and rigors of delivering excellent instruction and mandated curriculum which extend long beyond a affordable workday. In addition, the reporting and regurgitating of this data takes spot ahead of or after the workday with the preparation thereof taking spot outside of the workday as nicely. These of us who are caught up in this new paradigm know that all these intrusive added variables come at a sacrifice of our energies, time, and our skills to provide good instruction and to give the ideal of ourselves as educators to our students. It has not been specified to us as yet, however, just how to obtain these impossible demands and be good at what we are suppose to be performing, which is to teach to the ends that children understand!
I am discovering, nonetheless, that there are some quite talented individuals who are quite aware of the struggles of educators, like me, desperately trying to make sense of all of this frenzied madness. 1 such individual is Diane Ravitch, former Assistant Secretary of Education below the first president Bush and a nationally recognized scholar and historian of education. Ms. Ravitch has reversed her stance on problems such as standardized testing, college decision and the No Youngster Left Behind Act as noted in an report posted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on March five, 2010, authored by Maureen Downey a longtime reporter for the AJC, http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2010/03/05/diane-ravitch-education-has-turn out to be-search-and-destroy-mission-and-teachers-are-the-targets/. These folks are also intensely dedicated to the education and the well getting of our nations youth as well.
So, as I take this moment to pause at the close of this very first quarter of the new school year, this write-up and the voices it represents, gives me hope in knowing that there are others out there operating to make sense of this madness and moving forward toward rational resolutions as well.