Monday, March 7, 2016

Albuquerque's Progressive Teachers

You may recall the news reports awhile back when some Albuquerque teachers burned their teacher evaluations in front of the school district headquarters. A couple of the organizers of that protest have written about it in a journal for progressive teachers called Rethinking Schools. (Click here -- my blog isn't highlighting links for some reason.)

 The article talks about why testing mania is bad -- testing teachers and testing students -- and goes into what they do instead to enrich and enlighten the poor students they teach.

Governor Susana Martinez has made testing the centerpiece of her administration in some ways. To many people who, like her, know little about educating students, testing may sound like a good idea.

Testing also has to be seen in the context of the overall attack on public schools and on teachers unions, which Republicans and Democrats alike have been involved in one way or another. It, and the charter school movement, a backdoor privatization scheme, are all of the same piece.

My ex is a teacher. I helped her study for all her tests and wrote all her papers when she was getting a masters, and wrote her proposal for getting into a PhD program. She was accepted to the two she applied to, including Ohio State which has the top program for her specialty, special ed. I'm not saying that I knew as much as her about education -- it may be true but I'm not saying that. A lot of it was just that I was a better writer and she's kind of lazy. I'm just saying I know something about education, and I can say that politicians have no business getting involved in that subject unless they are following the advice of real educators. If you read this article you can see that, from the approach these teachers take to educating. there's a lot to educating that isn't immediately obvious.

Our public schools are in large part citizen run. I attended many different kinds of school board meetings as a newspaper reporter. That's a little different because school board members tend to be regular citizens whose only interest is serving children. They don't grandstand too much and aren't aiming for higher office, and they rely heavily on their administration, i.e. the superintendent and her or his staff -- which is made up of people with degrees in education and who in most cases are former teachers -- and usually take their advice.


  1. "I'm not saying that I knew as much as her about education -- it may be true but I'm not saying that."

    I am glad you are not saying that.

    1. Ha! Thanks, NM.

      I don't know why I put that part in there. The post was about the teachers and I was finished with the post but then got to thinking. I never got any thanks from her so guess I decided to take the opportunity to give myself some credit.

      You know, while I'm at it, she'd want a pet gerbil, or a puppy, and I'd end up taking care of it. That's why I didn't want to have kids. Don't get me started on the in laws.

    2. 51 years married, no gerbils, no puppies, not her's or mine. Early on a couple of puppies I bought home disappeared all of a sudden. Two sons and we had dogs while they were growing up. Only her and I and a few houseplants now.