Let's dispense with "filling in"-- putting a variable-quality surrogate in when the teacher must be gone. Everyone who teaches a child should be considered a real teacher and bring real, vetted skills to the table.


Of course, before they begin testing, no one asks at what grade level they are currently functioning. They are all expected to function at grade level or above no matter how many different teachers they had the year before or what their own struggles were just to get to school each day.


Here's a novel thought: Teachers are already experienced leaders who could engender and nurture more effective leadership in their administrators.


Don't most teachers stay in teaching because they find it personally rewarding? Can't every reasonably good teacher generate stories about The Kid Who Was Hard to Reach, who somehow came around, or the deep satisfaction of seeing the light bulb of student comprehension turn on?


Standardization is about uniformity and comparison. Assessment is something else entirely.


What I know as a music assessment specialist: We measure what we value. We can shoot to expand teachers' own assessment literacy in the arts. We can enhance their instructional and curricular repertoires. But we won't raise teaching quality in the arts by administering standardized tests.


Teachers and Stockholm Syndrome? It is highly likely that our genetic code, women's and men's, is deeply engrained to not resist authoritative powers, even those that are malevolent.


If more women were writing and speaking powerfully about education policy, philosophy and practice, would public schools be perceived as America's best, albeit neglected, hope for the future--rather than an opportunity for profit and control?


If a PhD is not a marker of accomplishment in education, is there any mechanism by which educators can demonstrate their value?


A hat tip to all the band teachers and student musicians who help make Memorial Day meaningful this weekend.


The opinions expressed in Teacher in a Strange Land are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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