Panel questions on teacher morale and an answer in my in-box

over (Medium)I participated in a PAGE panel today on education, along with my AJC colleague Nancy Badertscher, TV reporter Donna Lowry of 11 Alive and Macon Telegraph editorial page editor Charles E. Richardson. (Georgia school chief John Barge and education guru Phillip C. Schlechty were among the speakers at the PAGE program, and I will write up their comments later tonight.)

Several audience questions  to my panel touched on the current state of teacher morale.  When I returned to work, I found this email waiting for me in my in-box. It spoke directly to the questions asked by the panel audience.

The teacher who wrote it asked to remain anonymous:

I  just wanted to express my thoughts on the most recent  “Get Schooled” blog message to the President.

I am a high school special education teacher. I also work with many general education students. I have taught for 11 years and have many friends and acquaintances who have taught anywhere from three years to 20-plus.

In my 11 years as an educator, I have never seen such a demoralized group of people in my life. We teachers feel that we are under attack, that everything bad about education is our fault and that we need to change how things are done at the expense of losing many good teachers.

Many teachers would leave the profession if the right opportunity came their way — more than half. I know many students over the years who wanted to become teachers, thought it was their life’s calling, come to me later and say they had changed their mind and were no longer pursuing teaching.

Basically, this new idea that we can improve education by giving students a standardized test and use that grade to determine the quality of teaching they received is absolutely ridiculous. This idea will ruin our educational system.

Don’t get me wrong. We teachers love our job when it comes to teaching our kids. The politics of “gotcha” has gotten to the point that we have simply had enough. The politicians who have never been in a classroom or ever taught a class in their life think they know everything there is to know about fixing the problem. Ninety percent (and probably more) of teachers say that evaluating us on student test scores is not a cogent measurement. It does not predict teacher quality or student success.

Unfortunately, the time has come for many of us to look at other options. I’m not going to sit around and wait for these lawmakers to ruin our educational system by diverting money to charter schools when the public schools are strapped already and then continue to blame us for poor quality education. Charter schools generally do no better than their public school counterparts. This is absolutely true. I have the data to back it up so there is no room for argument on this one.

Anyway, many of us have gone back to school/ trade school to learn other fields of work in the event we are pushed out of education, which looks like it is about to happen. It is unfortunate as I consider teaching my life’s calling.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

80 comments Add your comment

Ron F.

September 17th, 2012
5:34 pm

Wow…well said. As I look at the future, I am thinking about options as well. I’ve got over twenty years, and I find myself thinking “hold on for the retirement”, which will be significantly changed by then anyway. I always said if it stopped being fun, I owed it to the kids and myself to find something else to do. It’s not fun many days at this point, so I may just have to live up to my words. It’s sad to see what is not just a job but a personal, heartfelt “calling” as the e-mail write so aptly calls it, become so negative that many would choose to leave. I think about it sometimes, and that fact bothers me.

Sad Teacher

September 17th, 2012
5:44 pm

This letter sums up our feelings as educators. Thanks for sharing!

mark

September 17th, 2012
5:49 pm

I will be vested in 1.66 years. After my ten in this state, 17 over all, it will be time to get out of teaching. Four years in a row with a pay cut. Talk about “incentive based pay!” I am so motivated, that I come home to mow lawns and paint decks!! Screw grading, lesson planning! That can wait, there is no money in it! I now have the incentive to get out of the physics/chemistry/earth scienc/child development/nutrition teaching and into the private sector. Dont worry, you will find a replacement!! A warm body will do. I just hope they know periodic trends.

RealWorldEducation

September 17th, 2012
6:11 pm

I’ve barely been in 1/6 of the time the teacher above has and I’m looking for the exit door. It’s all about crunching the numbers and making the scores fit the required quotas. Common Core has been shoved at us with no thought or prep, no materials and no care for student needs. The assessments magically assume that high schoolers, having spent their entire educational existence taking Multiple Choice NCLB tests will with a wave of a wand, be able to compare and explicate texts and concepts in writing. On an accelerated grade level. As graded by a computer. NOW. The sensible thing would have been to roll these out starting in K and working up to 12. But no, it makes more sense to throw them out with no testing (oh wait..we ARE the guinea pigs!), and no materials (some school districts are very clear about their disinterest in buying any new texts of any kind due to budget cuts). The assessments assume students will learn by reading bits of texts with no context, basically disenfranchising anyone who doesn’t come in with the background knowledge already built in (middle class and up).
This isn’t education….this isn’t even a job which pays enough for an employee with less than a decade’s experience to start a family.
Can’t anyone say enough is enough? Teachers in Georgia have no say in their instruction or pay or contracts. Why should we stay? “For the kids”? Does that put food on your table?

TeacherMom4

September 17th, 2012
6:27 pm

Then there’s the whole “If I teach the way I want to teach and it’s not the way I’m supposed to teach, according to the latest gimmick, and my supervisor walks in, I’ll be in trouble,” aspect. I am given no autonomy and all responsibility, even if I know I can do as well, if not better a different way. I have 14 years; it would be 20 if I had done nothing but taught public school since graduation. Those “lost” 6 years, make me feel sick. Like many, I no longer love my job, but I have few options given my skill set (note I said skill, not intelligence) and the economy. With 4 young children, I can’t afford to pay for a new degree and start at the bottom of a new career.

Old Physics Teacher

September 17th, 2012
6:28 pm

Ron F and mark,

I hear you guys. I have 20 years in the private sector. I will have 20 years in teaching as of next June. Like you, I’ll be leaving after the 2013-14 school year too. I currently spend most of my planning time in “whipping meetings” instead of grading papers and planning for my next day’s courses. You know, “our students didn’t do well enough on their EOCTs, GHSGT scores so we have to attend this meeting so we can learn to teach better.” We’re this generation’s whipping boys. You can’t blame the voters, right? It can’t be their fault, right? Everybody “deserves” a good education”, right? It MUST be the teacher’s fault you didn’t pass, right? And most of the teachers vote Democratic, too! It MUST be their fault! Even if it’s not, let’s blame them!! Get out the tar and feathers, boys; I think I see one coming!

Our colleges attract the rest of the world’s best students, our best students whip COLD the best of the rest of the world’s students easily, but our teaching is bad – why? Because politicians SAY our teaching is bad. The people of our nation, and specifically the people of our state, hate teachers. Look at the comments on Jay’s and Kyle’s blogs. Well, they’re successful. The teachers who can get out because they teach – and know – a discipline that is in a “hot” field, will. I am.

Let’s see what kind of quality teachers you can get when we leave. Rep Lindsey says we should pay teachers “market wages.”

Well Mr. Lindsey, who pays $100k + for his starting lawyers, let’s see if you can pony up that type of pay for chemistry, physics, biology,math, and computer science teachers. I guess you’ll just deduct that amount of money from the foreign language, social studies, and English teachers, right? Yeah, that’ll work just fine. How about giving your friends another tax cut? That’ll make sure we have enough money to pay the back pay to the teachers, right?

The things keeping me going are the bright smiles from the students every day, the look on their faces when I show them what they know to be true is wrong, and the emails from the ones who go off and have a great life and say that without my teaching they wouldn’t have made it. I’ll have great memories of actual teaching in the classroom. What politicians have made of teaching… not so much.

mountain man

September 17th, 2012
6:33 pm

Well put! My advice: if you are a student thinking about becoming a teacher – DON’T. If you have just started in teaching, GET OUT NOW. If you have been teaching for 27 years – suffer your last three and RETIRE!

If enough teachers hit the exits, things would have to change. Unfortunately a lot of people like the “summers off” and the “retire after 30 years (at 52 years old! – I would like that!)”. So there is a lot of new teachers to enter the profession and then burn out. Especially since you don’t have to be a “rocket scientist” in order to get an education degree.

Tired

September 17th, 2012
6:35 pm

I think the only teachers that can truly afford to teach are those with expensive, advanced degrees and 10-15+ years experience. This is my 7th year teaching and I by no means expected to get rich by leaving a corporate accounting career to pursue my lifelong desire to teach children. To not have seen a meaningful cost of living raise in 7 years is extremely disheartening and I pray to even make it to 10 years. I would strongly advise anyone thinking about teaching to think seriously about another profession. Anyone who dare question why teacher morale is low should consider substituting for ONE day. Just ONE.

MsCrabtree

September 17th, 2012
6:46 pm

It hurts me deeply to see how we are expected to be “professional,” but are never treated as professionals. It’s bad all over, but Georgia takes the cake. I am leaving with a bitter taste in my mouth.

mountain man

September 17th, 2012
6:52 pm

It will NEVER get better until a large exodus of teachers occur. In Chicago, the striking teachers should just quit – maybe they will get rehired after that.

Carl

September 17th, 2012
6:53 pm

COMPETION is the answer.
Vouchers and let the parents decide whether they want public or private schools.

long time educator

September 17th, 2012
6:53 pm

We are all looking for the exit. Last one out – turn out the lights.

Yankee Prof

September 17th, 2012
6:55 pm

And the saddest news might just be that the powers that have ruined public primary and secondary education in this country are now poised to destroy our nationwide state college and university system by bringing their standardized assessment mantra to the next level.

Linda

September 17th, 2012
7:05 pm

I too had to leave a profession I loved. I could no longer look the administrators in the face as they forced us to adopt latest great teaching method knowing the next year they would refer to it as that horrible thing we used to do that did not work. I honestly don’t know how they do it year after year with a straight face. Do they honestly believe the crap that comes out of their mouth? Do they not see a pattern? I actually still read professional development material FOR FUN even though I no longer teach. Depressing to even type that. I miss creating exciting environments and interesting lessons for students, but I could no longer tolerate the BS. I taught at several “good” schools over the years and administrators were all rotten, clueless, double-speaking politicians to the core. They are ruining our schools. My own fellow educators all felt the same way, but would not stand with me against the insanity. They put up with a lot in order to stay employed and away from vendetta duties and responsibilities, and the powers that be are abusing that in the worst way. Parents are the only group I see being able to effect any change, and they don’t have any idea what is going on and how it is affecting their children.

mountain man

September 17th, 2012
7:09 pm

“Parents are the only group I see being able to effect any change, ”

Parents are 9/10 of the problem! Teachers do ANYTHING the parents don’t like (like disciplining an unruly student) and the parent(s) descend like a swarm of enraged hornets!

sayre1

September 17th, 2012
7:13 pm

thousands of students are majoring in education, thousands of education grads are looking for teaching jobs. there are plenty of applicants to fill the jobs of teachers who leave the system.

TimeOut

September 17th, 2012
7:17 pm

I’m not sure if the United States is a democracy. I think it’s possible that most of us are peasants, living on the Lord of the Manor’s land, and by his leave. While it’s still possible, I am spending my nights and weekends re-trainining, with hopes of entering pharmacy school. I hold master’s degrees in Modern Languages and Psychology. I have teaching credentials that allow me to accept positions in the Social Studies department on the high school level, and Language Arts/ Social Studies on the middle school level. I have the coursework and the certification for ESOL K-12 and School Counseling K-12. After all of these years as a teacher of Modern Languages, I have decided that I am too weary of responsibility without authority. My work ethic, my skills and abilities, my ambition, are all going down the drain of privatization of public education. My greatest source of relief is that my own adopted and step-children are all finished with the K-12 regimen. I’ve counseled my children that I cannot in good conscience assist in their attainment of public school teaching credentials. If that is the chosen path of any of the eight I have raised, they will have to do so without my blessing or support. I have a tremendous amount of respect for my colleagues and I value greatly my students’ opportunities to receive a quality education. I just don’t want any of my own children to be a part of what has become a “political experiment gone wrong.” The best thing that could happen to my colleagues would be to employ their skills in more lucrative trades. The best thing that could happen to our future students would be the mass exodus of our teaching staff; that is the only “attention-getter” with the potential to motivate the citizenry to block the efforts of the power-elite.

Lee

September 17th, 2012
7:21 pm

Sorry, most whiny “educators”, and I use that term loosely, get no sympathy from me. Hell, I could have bought a small house with what I spent on private school tuition. Tuition that I was compelled to pay because our local public schools, for lack of a better term, sucked.

For years, “educators” have been inflating grades, graduating illiterates, and ignoring the elephants in the room for fear of losing your politically correct merit badges. The end result was that you lost control – first the kids, now your career.

rt

September 17th, 2012
7:36 pm

Lee, I have a few words for you. Go into the classroom and do what we do every day! You probably can’t, perhaps thats why you never taught in the first place. Dont hand me this grade inflation crap. It happens, but its not rampant, at least not in my school.Frankly, I am soooo sick and tired of people like you yapping about how good we have it and how we suck. If you think you can do it better, then do it….I bust my hump every day for those kids, i work until midnight 4 nights a week. I dont take summers off, I tutor, work another part time job, teach Summer School among other things. Don’t yap your mouth until you have lived in our shoes for a couple of years. We do this because we love it, not because of the money. Also, you think your little private school provides a better education than many Public Schools??? HAH! See how your kids do on a standardized test, then come and yap your mouth. I’m Done!

rt

September 17th, 2012
7:39 pm

To add another comment, I have a degree in Operations and Mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and also an Ed.S. in Education while working on a national certification. SO please dont tell me I suck. How many teachers do you know??? Who makes you the expert??

SPED teacher

September 17th, 2012
7:45 pm

This expresses exactly how I feel also…I am also looking at other avenues..I am tired of teaching and being blamed for all that is wrong with education..I have students who come to me reading on a 1st grade level but have to take a 8th grade test and you are going to fire me when he cannot pass a standardized test..This is wrong and I won’t stand for it.I have been selected as a teacher of the year several times and I KNOW it is my calling BUT I am leaving very soon just like many other great teachers. I only have 12 years left until I can retire and I am ready to go now. I am sad about it because I LOVE teaching but I cannot go to work every day with the threat of losing my job hanging over my head…It is very stressful and I am tired…:(

Ron F.

September 17th, 2012
7:46 pm

Lee: We didn’t lose control, we never had it in Georgia. We are a right to work state, so our power is limited to make substantive change. We’ve lost it as a society, either by the demise of families, by the shrinking numbers of obviously caring parents like yourself, and by the loss of the value of education in the homes of the children we teach. We lost it by trusting our state legislators over the teachers “in the trenches” and by allowing political bumper stickers to guide our decisions. We lost it by trusting a president who never taught a day in his life create the mess of No Child Left Behind. We’ve all lost, and the sins of inflated grades and graduating kids who aren’t ready for life is the result of the policies and mandates set forth by parents, administrators, and politicians. Trust me, most teachers wouldn’t stay if they didn’t care about the kids, and that’s becoming less and less of a reason to keep doing it. We’re not whining; we’re stating the facts. If you were in the system right now, you’d know that.

mountain man

September 17th, 2012
8:03 pm

Good call, SPED teacher – and good luck with your new career. I hope all the administrators LOVE IT when all their teachers leave – good luck with those classes! Fire ‘em if the kids don’t pass!

Former Math Teacher

September 17th, 2012
8:25 pm

I’ve already made the switch, and it is so much less stressful. It was a change for the better for me, but I miss teaching, and my school has had a rough few years.

Mikey D.

September 17th, 2012
8:34 pm

@sayre1:
Your comment is indicative of one of the main problems we are facing as a nation in regards to education: the belief that any fool off the street can step into a classroom and do the job with the expected level of expertise. Yes, there are thousands of ed majors who will be looking for jobs. But, without guidance and mentoring from expert teachers who have “been there and done that”, we are setting those new teachers up for failure, which of course also sets the students up for failure. Teachers have been threatened into silence and obedience with the line “If you don’t like the way things are, then you can leave because there are plenty of others who would gladly take your job!” But we shouldn’t confuse putting a warm body in every classroom with putting a great teacher in every classroom. Believe it or not (and judging by the vitriolic comments posted on this blog every single day, many of you don’t believe it) we do a great deal more than glorified babysitting. If we decide that we can replace every 20+ year veteran with a fresh-out-of-college rookie and still expect the same results or better, then we are truly deluding ourselves.

TimeOut

September 17th, 2012
8:41 pm

Lee, like so many others, you fail to recognize who runs the show in public schools. Teachers have less power to effect change than the students, their parents, and the power brokers on on local, state, and national levels. Like many a corporate employee, many ‘in the trenches’ try to do what is right while a few, mostly ‘pond scum’ reap the rewards of misallocation of resources and other types of corruption. Voters who want to live in a country peopled by literate citizens capable of independent, critical thought, will have to work harder to effect needed changes. Teachers are one but one group among these voters.

TimeOut

September 17th, 2012
8:44 pm

Lee, in sum, you bought a small house to help line the pockets of the power elite who control the contracts, curriculum, and funding formulas of public education. The teachers have none of this control. However, those in power are thrilled to have your anger and blame deflected in their direction while they continue to fleece you and the rest of their constituents.

Here's a thought

September 17th, 2012
8:52 pm

I am on year six and I still enjoy teaching. I don’t enjoy everything about it but I suppose that’s why it’s called work. I do feel fulfilled in my career choice and I am not destitute by any means. I agree that the circus does get old with the politicians and their switching back and forth. I am still hanging on…

Lynn43

September 17th, 2012
8:53 pm

Lee, I hope your children in their prestigious private school do not use the language (cursing) that you use. If so, they will not be long there.

Cindy Lutenbacher

September 17th, 2012
8:53 pm

Lee, I’m sorry that your experience was so terrible. However, to lump all teachers into one category seems very unfair. My guess–and I have no way of knowing–is that most of the teachers who read and respond to this blog are caring, hard-working folks who are seeing the profession and the students they love being destroyed by a cynical, corporate takeover of our schools.
My kids have been in DeKalb schools (and not in wealthy neighborhoods, either), and I’ve witnessed incredibly caring, smart, creative teachers, with only a few folks who were clearly in the wrong profession. Moreover, I’ve witnessed more than a few terrific teachers leave the profession because they refused to or could not in good conscience do what the past decade’s so-called “reforms” required of them. They refused to be part of the harm that NCLB and RttT are doing to kids.
I know that, for a variety of reasons, not every teacher can leave teaching right now, so I want to be clear that I’m not judging one choice or the other. I’m grateful that so many great teachers are still there, fighting for our kids.
I’m just sick that the cartel of corporations, aided and abetted by politicians, has so duped the U.S. citizenry that public education is being completely and totally destroyed. Just wait until real teachers are replaced by automatons who can only read a script from a “best practices” manual and administer bubble tests. I’ve seen some of these scripts, and they are, in short, ludicrous–as ludicrous as a shred of faith that Common Core and its army of standardized tests will tell us anything of value about students and their knowledge, skills, or abilities.That kind of one-size-fits-all approach has nothing to do with leaving no child behind and everything to do with the wholesale heist of our tax dollars. (Do the arithmetic–GA’s RttT grant will be more than swallowed whole by the testing requirements–our state will lose money on that deal.)
And do the research–the standardization of schools with Common Core and bubble tests has NO credible research to support it.
Teachers–hold strong to whatever you need to do. By and large, you are heroes.

old teacher

September 17th, 2012
9:11 pm

Well written article I agree completely. I plan to leave and take early retirement even though I still love the kids. Unfortunantly, the administration and the political interference have ruined education. I can teach or I can do common core, but I cannot do both well and common core is more important to my administration since it brings in federal dollars. I feel that it is time for me to take my misplaced priorities and leave Georgia and teaching.

Mary Elizabeth

September 17th, 2012
9:16 pm

“I know many students over the years who wanted to become teachers, thought it was their life’s calling, come to me later and say they had changed their mind and were no longer pursuing teaching.”
==============================================

The teaching profession has been deliberately maligned by those of political power and wealth who have decided to undermine “government” public education, imo, instead of working to improve it from within. They have used inordinate negative propaganda against public education. Malicious intent will produce destructive results.

MLK Jr.: “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Right will out, in time, and that includes the value of the teaching profession being, once again, acknowledged.

Teacher Lady Ma'am

September 17th, 2012
9:17 pm

If you want to see really low morale and bottom of the barrel administration, head south to Bibb County…

Cindy Lutenbacher

September 17th, 2012
9:24 pm

Thank you for your reminder of Dr. King’s faith, Mary Elizabeth!

Mary Elizabeth

September 17th, 2012
9:54 pm

Thank you, Cindy.

Dr. King greatly inspired me when I was a young person, and his impact upon me (and upon many others) has affected my life for the better. In fact, I made a point to be present, last October, on the National Mall in D.C. when his Memorial was dedicated, so that my future grandchildren would know of my commitment to his vision for humanity. I place King, historically, in the same category as Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson in the impact that his life will have had on generations yet to come.

Ron F.

September 17th, 2012
10:25 pm

“If you want to see really low morale and bottom of the barrel administration, head south to Bibb County…”

So I hear. I work with a lady who bailed out on the “miracle” after many years in the system, and she isn’t looking back with any regret. That mess provides yet more proof of one side of the equation for ruining public education: leaders without a clue. When we began appointing superintendents, we handed the keys to the asylum to the worst of the inmates in my opinion.

Dr. John Trotter

September 17th, 2012
11:47 pm

When teachers get tired enough of the bullsh-t, they finally join MACE! We have been talking about these ridiculous things which are perpetrated for education for nearly 20 years. We have not changed our message one scintilla: You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions. This exact sentiment was in our very first magazine in 1995.

But, some people continue to join groups like PAGE and GAE which is like chickens supporting Chick Fil-A. You cannot serve two masters. How can PAGE and GAE aggressively support and advocate for teachers when the angry and abusive administrators are also members of PAGE and GAE? Ha! It makes no sense.

At MACE, we aggressively defend, protect, and empower teachers like we recently did for the Clayton County teacher who was recently falsely accused. This hearing took four days. The MACE teacher won his caseust the other day…just like the MACE teacher recently won her case in Hart County. In fact, the reporter for the Hartwell Sun newspaper, Vivian Morgan, told me that the MACE attorney, Lowell Chatham, “was phenomenal.” You get what you pay for. If you enjoy sleeping with the enemy, then keep sleeping with the enemy. It’s your choice.

http://www.theteachersadvocate.com

http://www.georgiateachersspeakout.com

Fled

September 18th, 2012
1:14 am

Surely this comes as no surprise. It was clear more than four years ago that the government of the state of Georgia had declared war on education generally, and teachers particularly. I have no regrets about leaving: none at all. I only wish that I had not stayed as long as I did.

Even so, what I am happiest about is that I did not subject my children to school in Georgia. I know there are many good and caring teachers in that benighted, redneck state, but the system is stacked against them. My children are taught by top teachers, who are good (or else they are gone) and who know that the conditions and perks are much better than they would get at home. My oldest just returned from a two-week home stay in Paris, and my least is going to South Africa next month. They are becoming global citizens, and we have taught them by example the idea of getting while the getting is good.

I understand that many teachers in Georgia may not be in a position to leave, and for those people I suggest looking into another field of work. When things improve, if they ever do, you may be in a position to go back to the classroom.

For those whose passion is teaching, think about working abroad, especially for language and science and math people. We actually are quite lucky that people all around the world want our skills and are willing to pay for them.

Had enough yet, Georgia teachers? Give up. Throw in the towel. Flee.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

September 18th, 2012
2:00 am

Just wait. Your patience will be rewarded.

And, by the way:

EDUCRATS, beware.

Noticed

September 18th, 2012
2:15 am

@ Fled, I that’s exactly what I did.

Mortimer Collins

September 18th, 2012
7:11 am

“Anyway, many of us have gone back to school/ trade school to learn other fields of work in the event we are pushed out of education, which looks like it is about to happen. It is unfortunate as I consider teaching my life’s calling.”

Such a Noble cause. Cant stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

PS…Teachers enjoy too many freebies and perks. Dont beleive a word of it.

Mountain Man

September 18th, 2012
7:34 am

I think it is funny that all these bloggers keep saying that we need to hire and retain only the best teachers, then we make teaching a position that has horrible working conditions and mediocre pay (retirement benefits are good) and expect great teachers to flock to our sides for “altruistic” reasons.

jarvis

September 18th, 2012
7:37 am

Did any of you speak to anyone in the profession before choosing it? This is the same stuff I remember my mom (retired teacher) and her friends saying when I was a kid.

Also as an FYI, I’ve worked in HR for 15 years and have rarely met an ex-teacher that has exceled in the private sector. They surprisingly tend to avoid leadership roles and rather are most happy doing with that requires little variation in task. “That’s not my job”. I assume this has something to do with the personality type that led them to teaching in the first place.

jarvis

September 18th, 2012
7:38 am

Wow….killed that. Should have said….”most happy doing jobs that require little variation in task”

Entitlement Society

September 18th, 2012
8:04 am

anonymous article? I thought it was always frowned upon to post under an anonymous name (like I do!)? Why is this article any different than any other post by teachers on this blog? We get it. Teaching in government schools stinks. You are set up to fail. That’s why my kids aren’t in your classes. I understand the limitations of the system. Nothing is going to change in the school-lifetime of my children, so I have had to sacrifice and find another, albeit horrendously more expensive solution, because this state fails to get public education right. Sure, start the bashing now because I did what was best for my children and got them the heck out of APS’s train wreck of a school system, just as you did to Lee. Falsely label me as elite, racist, whatever. I don’t care. No skin off my back. You will never know or understand what some parents will do to ensure that their children don’t face an educational system like the anonymous teacher described.

This issue isn’t nationwide, it’s Georgia. I was raised in the Midwest in great public schools and it’s still ok to send your children through those systems today. Here is Georgia it’s obviously not. The system is broken, for gosh sakes, look at teacher morale just on these posts alone.

Oh, and to the poster who wanted to see how the private school kids do on the standardized tests? Mine are in the 99% percentile. (that’s without ever being “taught to the test” or whatever they do in public school that teachers complain about being required to do) Yours?

William Casey

September 18th, 2012
8:13 am

@Entitlement: Current teachers post anonymously because of very real retaliation. What’s your excuse? Since your kids are in some vaunted yet anonymous private school, you should have no such fears. BTW— There are great public schools with great teachers in Georgia. I taught at two of them, Chattahoochee and Northview.

William Casey

September 18th, 2012
8:18 am

@Jarvis: Your broad-brush smear of teachers is not only mean-spirited, it is wrong. I know many former teachers who excell in the private sector including two ex-wives. LOL

William Casey

September 18th, 2012
8:24 am

@Mountain Man: Your 7:34 post is absolutely right. Given the changing nature of the profession, where will the excellent teachers of the future come from, especially in science and math?

AlreadySheared

September 18th, 2012
9:21 am

“Lack of Teachers Leaves Students Without Math”

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/lack-teachers-leaves-students-without-math/nSDMm/

(but only for the first MONTH of school – no loss there)

Maureen Downey

September 18th, 2012
9:27 am

@Already, Trying to clarify this story as the school has math teachers, but not one to teach math support, which is described as an elective.

What I don’t get is why the kids had no math as DOE describes math support as “an elective class that should be taught concurrently with a student’s regular mathematics class.”

So, why were these kids having no math?

Can any math teachers help us understand this situation? Was there no digital option here for these kids?

Maureen