Saturday, May 31, 2008

No Child Left Behind...(except for those who fail the test)

A local elementary school teacher recently refused to administer an end-of-grade test to his students with severe disabilities because he knew that, due to recent changes in the test, his students would not pass. And if one of the 17 subgroups (latino, caucasian, African American, etc.) that GWB likes to sequester us all in does not pass, the entire school fails. Thus, the teacher was promptly fired for using his good judgment, a little common sense and compassion and also for considering the needs of his students over the PR bullshit of the government.

I don't really have a lot to say about this issue that hasn't been said by most everyone else, but I would like to comment on the treatment of teachers in this system. It seems I hear nothing but about how there's a shortage of good teachers. No shit. They don't get paid enough, they work longer hours than most professionals, they have to endure fucked up legislation and be the bitches of a conniving government, and they have to be good role models for their kids. I don't know if I'm just imagining things, but I understand exactly why there are so few good teachers. And then you have a really good teacher devoted to teaching severely disabled children, and you fire him because he refuses, in good conscience, to subject his kids to nonsense. Yeah, no shit there aren't many good teachers.

What I want to know is, when is this going to change? Is Obama, is Clinton, is McCain really going to do anything about this or are they going to try to reform it? Are they going to say things like, "This is actually a great idea, just improperly funded," or something silly like that, when we all know that the system needs complete overhaul. You do realize that I'm someone who would have voted Kucinich hands down, no matter how much he talked about believing in aliens or whatever it was the media lampooned him for. I just want something different from the government, and it frustrates me that all the candidates that are running for the presidency are lambs. If they were more than timid politicians they wouldn't have made it this far in the race. It sucks that the system works this way, but I think we all realize that it does.

And now we're off on other subjects when really I just wanted to talk about teachers. If you know any teachers, give them a hug for me.

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