We had one of those staff meetings today. You know, the kind where they bring in "data" for us to use to "inform our instruction". The district literacy leader was there to lead a literacy thing. He was very nice. He was not informative or helpful.
We got a piece of paper with a bar graph (just a thought: they could have emailed the Excel graph so we could have looked at it prior to the meeting, and we could each have had a copy instead of 4 of us sharing one, but I digress) that showed our district literacy scores compared to our school scores for the current year. Yes. One year. I asked if there was any data from prior years that we could look at so we had a notion of what trends may exist, so we wouldn't be looking at data in a vacuum. He said, though my point was valid, we didn't need to look at trends to see that some kids are proficient, and some kids aren't.
Now, I didn't mention that knowing this one year's worth of information still informed me of nothing I didn't already know by being their teacher and seeing them every day for over 100 days now, but I let it go. Obviously, valid and important points made by teachers are to be ignored when collaboration, an NCLB sanction, is necessary.
So we were to focus on 4 or 5 students who are below proficient (as are many kids in the middle of the year. Don't they get all year to make it to proficient?) and decide on some new interventions. I asked, why would I need new interventions based on the fact that some kids do well and others don't? Isn't the world sort of made up with bell curves in it? Aren't there kids who shine, and kids that don't? Remember that NCLB requires that all students be proficient. Like all college football teams will win their division. Impossible. Mathematically, sociologically impossible.
We are to come up with a new something (curricular material, lesson, enrichment activity?) to help these kids. As if I am not helping them now! Fuck you!
This is what we get. We get treated like children who need to be told how to do something. Administration does this because they, like my principal, have decided that schools, and especially, teachers (now that the administrators are no longer teachers) are how the achievement gap will be closed. No ideas for what we should do. We just meet and talk about kids. And look at meager data, too meager to hold anything like statistical significance. So we talk, look, and never have anything of value happen. Ever. Oh, and the sycophants who mutter things like, "Hmmm, interesting" and "That's a good idea". These people are thought of as thoughtful, yet they are not thinking, they are kissing up. Brown-nosing. Fuck them too.
Apparently, the gap will be closed by NOT eliminating poverty; by NOT offering better social services; by NOT funding art, or music; by privatizing the schools and NOT listening to parents and teachers.
What a fucking disaster.