Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Selecting the Subject of Sizer’s Next Book

October 01, 2004 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Theodore R. Sizer is surprisingly naive if he believes that K-12 teachers in public schools will break the “third silence” he talks about and become quiet rebels (“Sizer’s Red Pencil Chides Establishment for ‘Silences’” Sept. 8, 2004). How does he suggest they go about doing that? Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the only permissible way to measure instructional effectiveness is through the use of state-developed standardized tests. Teachers who ignore this dictate run the risk of eventually losing their jobs.

Mr. Sizer has the rare luxury of encouraging teachers to stand up to the testing juggernaut and work with students in ways that are not assessed on No Child Left Behind-mandated tests. But even there, he is quixotic. Increasing numbers of school districts are requiring teachers to use daily scripted lesson plans provided by the same testing companies that determine if teachers are doing their job. Under this regimen, virtually every minute of the teaching day is laid out, with little or no room for individual differentiation.

It will take more than being “humble,” which Mr. Sizer defines as being suspicious of any one best curriculum and any one best schedule of time to deliver it. Teachers have to demand changes in a movement that is sucking the intellectual life out of classrooms and turning them into test-preparation factories. How they go about doing that is the rightful subject for his next book.

Walt Gardner

Los Angeles, Calif.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Recruitment & Retention Webinar
Be the Change: Strategies to Make Year-Round Hiring Happen
Learn how to leverage actionable insights to diversify your recruiting efforts and successfully deploy a year-round recruiting plan.
Content provided by Frontline
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Critical Ways Leaders Can Build a Culture of Belonging and Achievement
Explore innovative practices for using technology to build an environment of belonging and achievement for all staff and students.
Content provided by DreamBox Learning
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes with Teacher-Student Relationships
Explore strategies for strengthening teacher-student relationships and hear how districts are putting these methods into practice to support positive student outcomes.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: September 7, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: August 31, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: August 24, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: August 17, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read