I’m really liking Ken Bernstein’s apology to higher education faculty from a high school teacher. Actually, it’s a warning. A warning, it is.
From my experience, I just started recently teaching freshmen who could have been fifth graders I taught years ago at the pre-dawn of NCLB. Unfortunately, I don’t have the kind of perspective as someone who has been in higher education for years and years.
But in an education foundations course, when we do talk about standardized testing, they have plenty of negative experiences. They are also very willing to share, almost as if they’ve never really had a chance to vent. And these are future teachers… potentially.
I think the most important part of the piece for faculty is this:
If you, as a higher education professional, are concerned about the quality of students arriving at your institution, you have a responsibility to step up and speak out. You need to inform those creating the policies about the damage they are doing to our young people, and how they are undermining those institutions in which you labor to make a difference in the minds and the lives of the young people you teach as well as in the fields in which you do your research.
What on earth is the point of tenure if people aren’t speaking out more about this? I guess you get the student body you deserve in some respects.