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April 21, 2011

Accountability and Those Children

Jocelyn Huber:

As the call for teacher evaluation and tenure reform intensifies across the country, the hypothetical arguments against holding teachers accountable become frustratingly similar. "How can we hold teachers accountable for students with difficult home lives? What about teachers who have homeless students in their classrooms? What about students whose parents are almost criminally uninvolved in their education? Certainly, it wouldn't be fair to make teachers responsible for those students." So, let's settle this once and for all: making sure that those students get an education is the whole purpose of public education. And the existence of teachers who feel they should only have to worry about the children of involved, employed, and educated parents is part of what drives the fervor for education reform.

Public education should be a refuge for those children. It should be the one place where a child can be certain that his parents' actions cannot hurt him, and where he can be sure all of the adults have only his best interests at heart. Public education should ensure that EVERY child graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in college and in the 21st century job market. It should be the springboard out of generational poverty. Instead of family struggles or background being an excuse to give up on students, it should be the inspiration to work twice as hard to be sure students get the education that could change the course of their lives.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at April 21, 2011 1:37 AM
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