Today I am sharing part two of a two-part essay contributed by educator Betsy Angert. Ms. Angert is a creative educator who taught Secondary School and University students. She also served to instruct and supervise future Educators in the Teacher Credentialing Program. She now hosts the web site Empathy and Education. In an earlier essay, Those Who Can Teach; Life Lessons Learned, thoughts on the ever-present influence of George Bernard Shaw's philosophy were evaluated. A personal reflection, perchance, helped advance an analogy. We each are as the Playwright was. When young, we learn through our experiences. Later, we are forever ...

I wonder. In the world of teacher evaluation might we examine our beliefs more closely. Could we not learn from a bit of real life reflection. Let us not so quickly endorse the data that proves what we came to believe in childhood.

Bringing in a program that plugs some of the gaps created by the absence of these things, as Teach For America does, should not be confused with systemic reform for our schools - even if they get good test scores. And I am concerned that some people may not understand that.

TFA would also give us access to "teacher-proof" materials, when in fact it would be some thoughtlessly scripted lesson with all the right buzzwords that would be over in ten minutes and leave you with an hour and a half of chaos.

I believe, too, that as new teachers you have a responsibility to articulate why you want to teach; what is it you are hoping to achieve, what are the goals you have in mind for your students.

Dr. Briggs goes into more specific misrepresentations and much more thoroughly explains the flaws in the LA Times methods in his rebuttal, and the original paper that was the subject of this dispute

All these things provide such tremendous benefits, and yes, often improve student test scores as well. Is there some reason these approaches do not seem to qualify as "reforms"?

In essence, here in Idaho, we will use technology not as a tool to improve education but as a replacement for 770 teachers in order to make the dollars come out right.

Many of us did not reapply. We were not abandoning the school we loved. We were fighting to save it.

TeamScience draws on the most precious resource we have - the expertise and dedication of our own teachers. It has indeed taken a team effort to make a difference here.


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