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There are many reasons to oppose the governor’s plan for teacher evaluation: The tests used are unreliable; the states where similar “reforms” have been implemented have not seen success; huge sums of money have been diverted from schools to publishing companies; curriculum narrows to only those things measured and measurable on a standardized test. The list is long. For teachers, one of the most devastating consequences of over-reliance on test scores is the impact on their relationship with their students.
Teaching and learning is a relationship. At times the relationship is based on the teachers’ expertise in understanding how a student learns, what the student knows and what they need to do to master their next step in learning. At other times, the relationship is based on a teacher’s expertise in drawing the student into the curriculum and opening that window for students. And always, the relationship is a human one, based on the trust and respect between teacher and student. With that relationship, students realize that they can learn and that there is a purpose to their learning.
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