Ask teachers if they feel respected by REPA II, which Bennett wants to pass quietly, which will deskill the profession so virtual charter schools can teach massive classes, and Teach for America candidates can replace viable candidates more cheaply.
Tony Bennett needs to quit saying “Commitment” and start showing respect.
October 24, 2012 By Leave a Comment
Tony Bennett’s favorite catch phrase lately is to tell of his commitment to teachers, students, and Indiana. It was the title of an op-ed he wrote in the Journal Gazette. His first commercial was entitled Commitment.
Are you suspicious of anyone who adds a whole section to the IDOE website to demonstrate his commitment to educators because teacher morale has been beaten to an all-time low? You should be.
Bennett’s commitment to teachers is all a bunch of lies, no different than the fabrications an abusive husband tells family and friends as a way to explain away his wife’s bruises.
Dr. Bennett says he is committed to teachers by giving them the RISE evaluation. Ask any teacher how respected she feels to be evaluated based on how well a child does on the ISTEP test. Ask her if she feels respected now that her teaching future hinges on if Johnny is having a good day or not, or if Sally’s parents don’t get divorced before spring.
Dr. Bennett says all teachers should be “awarded” with merit based pay. Ask a beginning teacher if she feels awarded now that she has no hope of ever making much more than her base pay for the next thirty years. Ask any teacher if she feels rewarded by teaching her butt off only to find that it is the year the district was in the red, and no merit pay is available. Ask any teacher who has her master’s degree if she feels awarded by being told it’s now worthless. Ask the teachers leaving in droves if they felt awarded, or the teachers who never were – because they changed their degree before they ever started teaching.
Dr. Bennett says he recognizes outstanding teachers through the Teacher of the Year program. Ask any teacher if she wants to be recognized as the Teacher of the Year for the state of Indiana if she will have to write a blog selling Common Core Kool-Aid and tour the state on the bus trying to do damage control for Tony Bennett’s destructive policies.
Dr. Bennett even thinks that the A-F grades he will give schools shows his commitment to teachers, students, and Indiana. Ask teachers who work long hours in urban schools with at-risk students if getting a failing grade makes them feel respected. Ask students whose teachers left to go to a suburban school so they would not be fired if they feel respected by having a revolving door of teachers come and go. Ask communities if they feel respected by being told that, even though their schools show growth, their schools will be labeled failing, and no business will want to locate nearby. Ask students in urban schools if they feel respected by being told they are failures and their education was given to a for-profit company.
Ask teachers if they think they are being treated professionally by administering test after test to children, then adding data into computers hour after hour, when they could be planning exciting project based activities instead.
Ask teachers in Southeastern Indiana if they feel respected that you held a meeting and invited local “educators”, but not one teacher.
Ask teachers if they think the superintendent who stood by silently while $300,000,000 million dollars was cut from the education budget (though the governor claims to have a two-billion dollar surplus) cares about education.
There are more, but suffice it ask teachers just one more question. Knowing that good leaders motivate, and poor leaders demoralize, ask a teacher, “Do you feel motivated or demoralized by Tony Bennett?”
Don’t just take my word on Tony Bennett. If you do not know what is happening in public schools, go ask any public school teachers for their opinion of Tony Bennett. I’m confident you will make this conclusion: