Wow! I’m stunned! Dozens of New York Teachers are writing to critique a new ELA test created by Pearson publishers. Their comments are posted at a new website created by Lucy Calkins and the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Judging from the teachers’ copious reports and analyses (we counted 59 teacher responses plus a number of principals just in the category of “multiple choice questions”), the test was a disastrous fiasco. Perhaps the best thing that can be said about it is that it’s so badly designed it will be useless and ultimately discarded.
So considering how little time teachers have to write and their general tendency not to speak out, we want to consider why so many have done so. We have three hypotheses:
- If teachers and kids are made totally miserable the teachers will be stirred to write.
- If the issue is highly focused and a very specific forum is created, many teachers will respond.
- New Yorkers are more outspoken than the rest of us around the country.
Perhaps the answer combines all three possibilities. In any case, we hope the conversation will reach a wider audience and not be confined to only the world of educators.
Teacher advocacy, Teacher Voice, Teacher writing