A Vicious Cycle

10082015TryAgainSo, what would you say an unexpected by-product of ed reform might be?  With loss of autonomy in what to teach when, emphasis on high-stakes standardized testing and little control over just about anything else in the educational day, teachers are leaving some districts for transfers to more affluent schools and for other careers.

I mention this because it is challenging to teach in a gateway – or as the Pioneer Institute referred to it last week “middle” – city. And because the Lowell Schools are making an effort to diversify faculty and staff.

This article addresses this very issue and was published by In These Times last August. It clearly points to the challenge of hiring and retaining teaching staff in these times of education reform. As you read the article, consider the challenge of attracting teaching candidates who are impassioned to work as educators with a diverse and challenging student population.

The by-product of education reform is fall-out of professional teaching staff. As professional educators reach their limits of stress, do they move to a less challenging district? Or do they leave for a career in another field, perhaps related, where the environment is less toxic?

So what does happens as a result of corporate reforms overtaking the education landscape?  Is there a reliance on Teach for America trained (and I use that term loosely) or alternative certification?

Here’s Kevin Posen’s take from the In These Times article:

In order to fill the gaps, licensure rules are relaxed and “supports” are provided for an increasingly amateur workforce—through prefabricated curriculum and assessments. And the cycle starts all over again. The demoralization of the American teacher is leading to the deskilling of their profession, which leads to teacher resignations, which leads to more demoralization, ad infinitum.

In other words – a vicious cycle for educators and education.


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