California Educator

November 2014

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 4 of 63

Y O U R O P I N I O N S A N D L E T T E R S A R E W E L C O M E ! There is a 250-word limit, and all letters will be edited. If you send photos or other materials, identifications and permissions are required. Letters must include your name along with your address, daytime telephone number or email address. Email NCLB created a cold war among educators Sherry Posnick-Goodwin effectively articulated the painful situations we teachers experienced during the combi- nation of No Child Left Behind with a sinking economy (September 2014). With teachers criticized for tenure (permanent) status of employment and administrators as at-will employees, the war was on for administrators to protect their own jobs. Administrators attended formal trainings on how to more effectively implement or justify the termination process to eliminate teachers posing a threat to administra- tors' overall performance. Some administrators took to their own devices to increase test scores by dropping students at the time of CBEDS surveys and then adding them back to attendance rosters. Creating a gap in enrollment for select students disqualifies their test scores and would not be calculated into scores reported. It's no secret that students felt the pressure for performance as well as the cold war vibe. Observe owners of any productive, thriving, profit-bearing business — are they executing the management skills of the grim reap- er, utilizing terror and intimidation to increase sales and profits? Just like Meister Cheese Com- pany's advertising slogan, "Happy cows make better cheese," so happy people make better, more productive employees. Hopefully with NCLB on the downtrend, teachers and students can once again feel safer in the edu- cational arena. The media are so quick to criticize teachers. Yet ask anyone who isn't a teacher if they would like to be one and you'll hear the masses groan in anguish and then compliment teachers for their courage to return to the front lines daily armed with hope and enthu- siasm. I still believe in the old adage, "Scratch a teacher, find a missionary!" KAREN WRIGHT Riverside City Teachers Association 'The arts' include dance and drama I appreciate your writing on so many subjects of concern over the years, and your article on No Child Left Behind (September) is certainly no exception. I especially appreciate your calling out the current presidential administration on RTTT (or "Race to the Trough"), as Obama has proved to be no improve- ment for education. In describing the effects of NCLB, you mention that "art and music went by the wayside." This is certainly true —however, visual art and music are not the only arts disciplines that went by the wayside. As a longtime dance edu- cator and dance education advocate, I am well aware that in California dance feedback is the most overlooked arts discipline, with the least student access (only 10 percent of middle schools and 34 percent of high schools offer stan- dards-based courses). It may seem to be a minor point, but for those of us who struggle to keep our programs viable, language matters. Dance educator Anne Green Gilbert once said, "When they say arts educa- tion, they don't mean dance." "Art and music" are often used as shorthand for all the arts — which, unfortunately, is partly why dance and drama teachers lost their single-subject credentials in the Ryan Act reform era. Part of my mission as a dance education advocate is to ask people to notice when that shorthand comes up and to recog- nize the other arts disciplines as well (at least those specified in the VAPA standards). Using "the arts" rather than "art and music" would be greatly appreciated by those of us working in dance and drama! AVILEE GOODWIN United Teachers of Richmond We misread the signs I appreciated the article on American Sign Language (September 2014). You might want to correct the captions for the images that say the students are signing their names, though. In the first one with the two girls, they are signing "color," and in the second image, a girl is signing "phone." Other than that a great article! ASHLEY LOWE Student in deaf education, National University Editor's Note: Mea culpa. We should have confirmed the signs and captions. Thanks for reading the magazine! Grateful, for one I just got my copy of the October California Educator! I am honored to have been able to participate in the Breast Cancer Awareness Month series. The article is wonderful, and I hope that it just might influence some people to start taking care of themselves. Thank you for all your hard work and coordination. I greatly appreciate your efforts. KAREN S. DAWKINS San Jose Teachers Association 3 V O L U M E 1 9 I S S U E 4

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - November 2014