I'm seeing many changes in my state and my district I'm uncomfortable with. This trend toward putting money we don't have into technology (we can't pay teachers what they deserve or have teaching assistants, but we can afford to outfit every child and teacher with Ipads and schools with computer specialists), a trend toward unreasonable expectations (kindergarteners sitting for 90 minute uninterrupted ELA blocks, during which they can do nothing outside the directed curriculum, not even color a picture related to the story), a trend toward scripted lessons, and many more changes by the state that affect the lives and moral of the teachers.

Ds12 has not had a teacher in his Enrichment class (AIG) since the year started and he hasn't had a science teacher for four weeks because the one he had quit. There have been a variety of inadequate subs since then but things hit bottom for me when he came home and told me there was no one in the classroom two days ago, no sub, no teacher, no administrator, until 5 minutes before the class ended.

In our district, there seems to be a huge drive to make the numbers look better, and that is accomplished by teaching everyone the same way and assume everyone is on the same level. How will they accomplish this quickly and impressively? By keeping the ones who could soar, the AIG kids, down so the gap is essentially closed. Yes, my district loves that catch phrase: Close the achievement gap. And while I understand what the phrase initially meant, and I agree it's reasonable to work harder to help the disadvantaged, I think the idea has gone too far and the people in charge implementing this idea have lost their common sense along with their decency.

I'm hearing stories of the district office bullying and berating teachers, putting unnecessary pressure on them. One woman was put on medical leave because her hair was falling out. Teachers are quitting faster than the district can hire them.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I heard the district is doing away with the AIG program (the gifted program). I haven't heard the reason, but I assume because they've bought into the idea that the Common Core Standards are rigorous enough (but we know that standards are only standards and not curricula). I did hear that they will expect the teachers to differentiate and we all know how well that works out.

I feel completely helpless. Ds is missing two teachers and may lose another one if not more. Ds12 will be in high school by the time AIG is done away with, but it still matters to me, it still matters that gifted kids in my county get their needs met.

How do I protest this mess in my district? I can't keep up with the disturbing changes and the problems keep getting bigger.

Edited by KADmom (11/22/13 06:12 AM)