Hello Governor Deal (and whichever staffer is lucky enough to be reading this),
I am what you call a “veteran” teacher. I’m on the downhill slide toward retirement; and I’ve gotten to the point that I’m tired of keeping my mouth shut about issues concerning my profession.
The GMAS system stinks. The Georgia Teacher Evaluation system stinks. The fact that my elementary school children do more to prepare for tests than they do play outside stinks. Are you seeing a pattern here?
I love to teach. I love my students, and like parents all over this state, I love my children and want what’s best for all of them. However, tests that aren’t reliable or valid are not what’s best for them. Tests that generate no useful data for teachers are worse than useless. Tests that are compared to different tests for the purposes of evaluating me are even more useless than that.
Tests that are far beyond the abilities of a disabled child are not good for them. Having little to no recess is not good for elementary school kids, and pushing small children to do what they are not developmentally ready to do does damage that takes years to undo.
Governor Deal (and your dedicated staffer), if you want to know what teachers and students need, how about asking teachers? How about asking parents? Ask actual experts instead of relying on the corporate input that got us into this mess; wouldn’t it be nice to go down in history as the Governor who actually made genuine change for the better in Georgia’s schools?
If you want to know how to do this, ask the people who know. Ask teachers. Ask parents. And when you do, listen to them. Sending them a survey and then ignoring what it says is not sound policy, Governor Deal. If I ran my classroom like that, I’d be out of a job.
I would love to be able to come talk to you and the legislature in person, but our grades are due this week, and school policy forbids me from taking the day before a paid holiday off, or I would be there early Friday morning to talk some sense into you and the representatives you’re leaning on.
Instead, I have to rely on the saucy tone of my letter to do that for me. Please encourage the legislature to do what’s right by teachers, students, and their families and pass 355 and 364. It’s the right thing to do. And since I voted for you, I wouldn’t be doing my duty as a citizen of the state of Georgia if I didn’t ask you to do what your electorate wants.
18 Year Public School Teacher
Mom of Seven