I recently read an article concerning where to live for your child to get the best education. Mississippi was on the bottom. As a former teacher I was very disheartened. I taught public school language arts in Mississippi for 22 years (now retired for 12 years), and I saw many areas that needed improvement.
My 7th graders were weak in the basics. I was expected to use a literature book to teach spelling, writing, reading, and grammar. I saw this as fragmented teaching.
In my opinion, teaching has become even more fragmented. We teach to the test and are expected to cover mandated objectives. We rush through to complete these objectives and are not teaching to the needs of the student.
I have heard from a former student, who is now a police officer, that discipline problems have become worse than ever. Teachers could spend more time on subject matter if all students were quiet, respectful, and eager to learn.
A version of this article appeared in the March 12, 2014 edition of Education Week as Retired Educator: Miss. Problems Include Discipline, Fragmentation