The teacher bashing table is turning

When I first read Mike Schmoker’s book Results Now, I said to myself more teacher bashing. I’m reading it again for the second time and it’s not teacher bashing. It’s administration and principal bashing. He cites the bad policies in place and compliments the teachers for their honesty. What he does do is advocate for policies that will improve schools, policies such as Professional Learning Communities and collaborative teaching. He explains authentic literacy as analyzing information, pushes for writing where reason is required, and supports the theory that argument in class and the skills it requires are critical to real education.

Principals and administrators should take note. Schmoker has the passion many of us do, that I do, for improving educational outcomes. It’s no surprise that these policies work. When Ronald Edmonds began the effective schools movement back in the early 1980s he conducted an experiment the results of which were released after his death. It showed that schools producing the best improvements were ones in which principals were supportive and collegial relationships fostered.

Somehow the results of the effective schools movement got turned into No Child Left Behind and rigorous teaching to the test.

I hope Schmoker’s book becomes mandatory reading for every principal and administrator. I know he’s right because it’s how I taught. I hope this is an impetus to end the era of teacher bashing.

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