NCLB’s High Stakes for Teachers

June 03, 2008 1 min read
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Last fall, Madison, Wis., teacher David Wasserman was reprimanded for refusing to proctor a state test with high-stakes implications under NCLB. This spring, Seattle teacher Carl Chew was suspended after he refused to give the Washington state tests. Chew explains the reasons for his protest in this item.

But now the stakes are getting higher.

Last week, a North Carolina school board fired special education teacher Doug Ward because he had informed them he wouldn’t be giving the state tests to the severely disabled students in his class. Even though the test was adapted to measure disabled students’ performance, Ward believed his students would fail.

“Basically, the way it was set up, my kids have no chance of passing,” Ward told a local newspaper in mid-May. “If you have a kid that is 11 years old and only developed to the level of a 1-year-old—I think I am a decent teacher, but I am not good enough to develop him to pass the test.”

Ward is being treated like a hero by commenters to the story about his firing. One wants to clone him. Others offer kudos and other support. Just one says he got what he deserved.

For the story of another teacher in trouble over testing, see this item on the SchoolFinder blog. (Note that the item hasn’t been updated to say Ward’s contract was not renewed.)

A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.


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