Teachers, for instance, are not persuaded of the Secretary’s good intentions. There is increasing evidence that there is very little teacher support for Obama school reform strategies among teachers — especially among experienced teachers.
Only 7 percent of teachers believe standardized tests that are being pushed by Sec. Duncan are essential to good education. Many teachers report having to spend inordinate amounts of time — over half their classroom time in some places — on preparing for and administering tests, and they’re understandably resentful of more time taken away from real instruction.
The backlash against testing is undoubtedly growing. Parents and public education advocates have started numerous “opt out” movements and actions. And now school boards in over 190 districts across the state of Texas are speaking out against the over-emphasis on testing in public schools.
Another factor that makes the Obama administration’s reliance on standardized tests increasingly unpopular is the insistence on evaluating teachers based on the scores — one of the qualifications for receiving federal grant money. The score-based evaluations are wildly unreliable and are leading to more and more cases of good teachers being treated very badly.
Sometimes, even whole schools that are well liked and supported in their communities are being shut down due to some poor test results that can hardly be attributed to the school’s practices.
Due to the growing resentment toward testing and its applications, and other factors, an annual survey of teachers, MetLife’s Survey of the American Teacher, recently found that teachers’ job satisfaction is the lowest it’s been in 20 years.