To the Editor:
With respect to Frederick M. Hess’ Commentary (“The Same Thing Over and Over,” Nov. 10, 2010), I would like to add my own three cents to his considerable currency.
Rarely, if ever, do policymakers or building administrators ask teachers, “What do you need?” or “What do you think?” Rather like developing tactics without conferring with troops on the front lines, yes?
Instead, prescriptives are handed down from on high, usually drafted by the unidentified and unseen, and educators are expected to bowl behind the curtain of disconnected imperatives of accountability. High-stakes tests based upon malleable standards are a case in point. To circumvent the home-rule trap of promoting a national curriculum, such tests are squared with remote, discrete interpretations of the standards rather than accordant with a comprehensive curriculum that exists in their respective school systems.
Is it any wonder educators feel unfairly maligned and under siege?
Director of Education
Washington National Opera
A version of this article appeared in the December 01, 2010 edition of Education Week as In Current Climate, It’s No Wonder Educators Feel Under Siege