This is absurd!!!
ANd you know that there will be a long and protracted fight with those VERY POWERFUL teacher's Unions.
UNFORTUNATELY no side does justice to portray exactly what HAPPENS in the classroom.

I was a teacher. Never completed my credential BUT worked to obtain it: I gave my heart and soul. I became a mentor, a counselor, a friend to many of these middle schoolers I taught. I NEVER ONCE saw a student who I DID not think had SOMEthing to contribute to the class nor society (I was few and outnumbered by the veteran cynical teachers)... I tutored in the morning, I tutored at lunch, and tutored afterschool ONLY one year did I get paid for it and found it useless because IT was not tutoring I was getting paid for but to BABYSIT. So I chose to focus on my students and receive ZERO compensation for it, but my students appreciated and I felt that I was doing MY JOB.

I also had my OWN and ONE of the few Youth Groups at the Middle School level for a Local ROTARY organization. I took the students WHO WERE Not the best students, WHO WERE not the teacher's favorites BUT were amazing when it came time to perform, to do something, and see the results and receive the thank you's for each and every service project we performed.

Sure I had my difficulties. Sure I encountered students who were stubborn, underachievers, and few behaviorally challenged... but I DID my best (well, as I could, like I said, I spent myself doing this job)

AND Doth I protest your changes?
HOW can YOU hold teachers accountable for:
Socio-Economic forces?
Family/Divorce/Abuse issues?
Immigration/highly mobile/transitory population?
Language difficulties.
Emotional difficulties.
Deadbeat parents.
The everyday challenges of a child who may NOT know how to improve their lot BUT can only NOT concentrate in school, NOT understand the subjects, HAVE no true understanding why they should even be taught history or science, or sadly even the arts? Why care about the class when it is survival that is MOST important to them?

The variables are FAR TOO MANY to base teachers salary on performance of the kids. WHAT was my greates skill? I COULD teach the lower-scoring students and raise them 10-20+ points on the SAT9, where I did fall short was on challenging the brightest *sigh, something I was not proud of* I WAS raising scores but not all (a challenge I was still working on)

Then again, I have difficulty with the status quo at the High School level, state, federal standards...

Not catering to their real needs:
emotional support, identity, ethnic relations, socio-economic... since I was in high school the issues remain the same AND Have not changed: violence at school, fights between gangs, ethnic divisions, Popular vs the Unpopular, leadership sycophants versus the rest of normal high school population... and worst of all: complacent teachers.

I do blame teachers if the students don't learn, I DO. I knew if I perfomed well AND I knew when I did not (but there are those exceptions where certain years just under-achieve, even to the BEST of our teachers). AND I was humble enough to always ask for feedback from the students (GRADE me, they are not the only ones trying to do their best); and ALMOST every former student I have met tells me high school teachers don't care, don't teach, cannot manage a class!!! WHat a shame. If the teacher has low expectations of a student, the student meets them. HAVE high expectations, the student may not meet them BUT be sure that they will perform to their BEST to reach it!!

It begins at the top: wasteful spending, out of touch superintendants who want publicity, a vindictive and warring schoolboard members stubborn teacher unions. And at the school level? A teacher can feel so alone battling a multi-front war: students, parents, administration, Standards, media, etc...

The SCHOOL culture has to change. The way we percieve and portray the educational system has to change!!!

You have to wonder who stays to teach?
Some and I knew a FEW wonderful naturalborn teachers who love their job; and I also knew those who did it for the paycheck.
I did it for the love of it. I received the highest recognition while teaching and even after I left, because my (and former) students would tell me if I WAS any good, if they LIKED what I did and that I was their best teacher (no money, no recognition, not even being the Who's Who in Teachers 2000 can match that can of compensation) unfortunately they had deadbeat teachers in high school to compare me to.

I am a naturalborn teacher, but was burned out trying to please everyone, meet everyone's expectations... and attempting sometimes to be a mirable worker for some of my students.

You bet I have a lot of ideas on what to do...

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