Talk about a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
In our eyes, Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s signing up with the federal school aid package being called “Race to the Top” is nothing to cheer about. In fact, to us, it’s more like a race to the bottom.
The agreement will allow for the state to take over public school districts that don’t meet certain student performance levels and to fire teachers if they have students who consistently fail achievement tests.
It’s been reported in local media outlets that as many as 100 to 200 public schools will fail the test and be taken over by the state. We can only guess how many hundreds — if not thousands — of teachers will face losing their jobs in an effort to weed out those deemed inadequate to teach.
Teachers will be directly tied to the success of their students, no matter what kind of home life and ability to learn each student has.
If teachers don’t lose their jobs, they could face a cut in pay.
And what does the state get in return for signing up with this federal program? According to the Detroit Free Press, an underwhelming $400 million.
If there is anyone in Michigan enrolled in school to become a teacher or anyone thinking of that career, this sounds like a deal killer to us.
Why in the world would we think of punishing teachers – who have a hard enough job – just because they have a failing student through no fault of their own? We can imagine the best and the brightest of our teachers will high-tail it out of Michigan to avoid a career-killing action being threatened by the state.
When did public education come to this?
And what are the legal ramifications of mass firings of union teachers? We can also imagine this is going to end up in court big-time.
Over the last 20 years it seems that certain political forces have been hell bent on ruining public education. Our country used to have some of the finest schools, but slowly, over time, politicians have destroyed that institution.
Our heart goes out to public education teachers. They now have an extra burden of having their job security directly tied to failing students, many of whom have a horrible home life and maybe not even have an adult relative who even finished school.
These kids need special help. Firing teachers who can’t possibly help students overcome a horrifying home life is not the answer.