Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lansing Teachers to Reapply for their Positions!

The breaking news last night was that the Lansing School District in an effort to meet Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act is restructuring the school district.

One of the most radical steps is to reassign teachers within the three high schools requiring teachers to reapply for their positions! According to the Board member, Hugh Clark, "no jobs will be lost."

The implication, of course, is that the teachers are at fault when students test and fail to make AYP. However, what's missing in this formula, and rarely spoken of in the news are the other major criteria for making AYP: a) the percentage of compliance is raised every year b) required test participation is now at 95% c) required school attendance criteria is set at 85% d) required graduation rates need to be at 80% e) special education students (a proportionately large percentage in Lansing and especially at Everett High School) results are factored into the data for AYP.

The Superintendent also said, "parents are not at fault." Are parents not a factor in expecting their children to attend school? To participate in testing?

What is alarming about NCLB is that now, at the high school level, teachers are spending half their instructional time is spent "prepping for the test." 50% of their time!!!! That means that students are receiving 50% less instruction!

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