Why One Teacher Quit DCPS Rather Than Continue Under IMPACT’s VAM

A very poignant commentary on how the rise of IMPACT has, in fact, ruined education in Washington, DC public schools. A few paragraphs:

“Before last school year, I had worked crazy hours and given up much of my life for work, but only because I loved my job and really believed in what I was doing.  Last year, my mindset was completely different.  I started doing everything I was doing because I was scared of what would happen if I didn’t do those things.  I was no longer motivated by a passion for teaching and learning, nor was I trying to develop myself into the great teacher I had once dreamed of becoming; I was motivated by a fear of being stigmatized a loser, and I was trying to do whatever it would take not to be considered one.

“Not to give away the ending to my story, but in this process I burnt out and lost faith in what I was doing in teaching.  I grew tired of caring so much about a test that I didn’t really care that much about.  I became frustrated with having to pass up opportunities to teach skills and concepts that I really thought my students needed to learn in order to teach them things I knew they were going to be tested on.  I couldn’t stand the taskmaster role I had to take on as a teacher.  Basically, I became sick of caring too much about all of the wrong things, and not enough about the things that really mattered.
In my quest to prove my worth and value, I started to feel worthless and easily replaceable.  Even worse, I felt like I was being told at every opportunity possible by the district to do this or that better.  And they weren’t telling me to do the things I knew I should be doing – if anything, the system seemed to be encouraging my worst behaviors, and seemingly suggesting I might even want to do them more intensely.  At every turn, I was presented with more data, more practice test scores, and more suggestions for how I might do things differently in order to get those test scores even further up. “
The rest of the article is here:
Published in: on January 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Guy, did you read this:
    Good teachers spread throughout the District
    By: Lisa Gartner | 01/29/12 8:05 PM
    Examiner Staff Writer @Lisa_Examiner

    Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/dc/2012/01/good-teachers-spread-throughout-district/2143971#ixzz1kudYJ9Vw

    I posted this comment:
    If there is an effective teacher for every 11.2 students at Ward 4’s Cardozo High School, then why can less than 28 percent of Cardozo’s students read proficiently?”
    If you have a bunch of schools that are failing, you have to question whether those teachers are truly effective,” said David Pickens, executive director of D.C. School Reform Now.

    It is because those being labeled “Effective” or “Highly Effective” are NOT teaching tested grades and subjects.
    That is, it is the Kindergarten teacher, the art teacher, the social studies teacher, the library media specialist, the counselor, the PE teacher etc, whose evaluation are not based upon student test scores, that are the HETs or ETs.
    Is Mr. Pickens dumb or deliberately obtuse?


  2. […] the next. See my blog  (not all on NY City) here, here, here,  here, here, here, here, here,  here, here, and here. See Gary R’s six part series on his blog here, here, here, here, here, and […]


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