Too Much Love

Let us assume, as I am willing to do out of respect for the late Senator Ted Kennedy, that the education reform movement in this country originated from a place of love, caring, compassion and a desire for equity. No matter how corrupted and twisted these values may have become and no matter how hijacked the effort has been by testing companies, politicians and ideological zealots; it probably started from something good, pure and hopeful. Love. Caring. Compassion. Equity. I am a fan of all Read more [...]

Pain Management: Grading: Part I

A few months back I asked people to take the one question Teacher Annoyance Survey. The purpose was to see which of the three unavoidable annoyances of teaching is most bothersome to most of you. The vote was split almost exactly into thirds between 1) Tedium and Predictability, 2) Bell and Chain, and 3) No Career Path. Here is part one of Tedium: Grading. However one deals with the daily homework side of grading, there still await the tests, quizzes, projects and papers. Little might hope Read more [...]

Back To School Badness

In this season of new beginnings, I was thinking about the many different cracked and crap-crusted lenses through which I have written about the start of a new school year. Lacking the energy to think of a new way, I have constructed a chronological compendium of my thoughts on the subject. From the irresistible and irrational panic of mid-July to the week-long faculty circle-jerk of mid-August to the familiar self-loathing and resignation of mid-September...we've got it all. Let us begin... July Read more [...]

It’s Official: We’re Out of Ideas

This is just getting embarrassing now; the way administrators flail about in hopes of finding the right combination of gimmicks to turn their schools around. It would be merely funny if it wasn't also guaranteed to cause additional unnecessary stress for teachers, waste their time, and generally contribute to the disingenuous atmosphere of the school. Let me explain. I was told of a new initiative at my old school by a friend. That there is a new initiative is not surprising; there are many Read more [...]

Teachbad’s Road Trip Photos

Holy Crap. I've been on a Family Road Trip for 17 days now. My wife flew home from Denver on Friday so I've been driving alone with the kids for three days. We're all feeling a little punch-drunk here at the Evansville North Holiday Inn Express. 5196 miles so far. Just 600 more to DC. I could show you pictures of Graceland, the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Dinosaur National Monument in Utah, the Rocky Mountains, a family wedding in Meeker, Co., or the St. Read more [...]

Truly Confounding Data

Can somebody help me? I can't make heads or tails of this little bar graph I put together.  It's obvious that we have an unfortunate concentration of Bad Teachers in Wards 7 and 8. That's the big story here, but is there anything else? PLEASE HELP!! Note on the data: School data is average combined proficiency in reading and math for all traditional public schools in each ward of the city (no charters) on the DC CAS, our 'state' NCLB test. This average combines elementary and secondary Read more [...]

Darry-Error

Oh, my. Big changes are afoot at the Columbia Heights Education Campus (CHEC) in Washington, DC. I taught social studies in this hell hole for three years. The head of my department was an assistant principal because teachers were not trusted to hold this position. This man was the worst of the worst of the bullying, sloganeering, hard-headed, head-in-the-sand principal class to emerge in the last 10 years. Never in my entire working life have I known somebody so universally despised and distrusted Read more [...]

Smart Kid Hates Group Work

FAKE EDUCATION NEWS --Queens, NY (The most ironic and perverse crime in education today) History teacher Derrick Barnes' 12th grade class had just assembled into their work groups at Flushing High School in Queens, New York. After 10 minutes of frustration and futility, Tyrell Haynes, a student in Mr. Barnes' class, delivered the following outburst (recorded on a students' phone and transcribed below): "I know why I'm in this group. Because I'm the only one who does any work, right? I Read more [...]

Bartenders Push For Tougher NCLB

FAKE EDUCATION NEWS --Atlanta, GA In a rare foray into education policy advocacy, the National Bartenders Association (NBA) will begin lobbying members of Congress next week for a tougher rewrite of the Bush-era national education law, No Child Left Behind. As originally written and passed in 2001, NCLB mandated that 100 percent of children be proficient in reading and math by 2013. Speaking from the group's headquarters in Atlanta, David Craver, president of the NBA, told Teachbad Education Read more [...]

Backyard Carnage

This was almost the very first Teachbad post to have nothing whatsoever to do with teaching. So as not to break with tradition, I will add an addendum here at the beginning: All students can be successful if teachers raise the bar. OK? I'd also like to say that I'm glad it's only in the high 80s here in DC today. On Saturday it was 105. Authorities recommended that we drink water and try to stay cool. I was sure that if I heard this advice or the phrase "beat the heat" one more time I might Read more [...]