KLFY runs a series on Louisiana teacher flight featuring PPEL people Rudolfo Espinoza and Melissa Mangham. Tripling the number of teacher resignations is—or should be—something that raises a red flag. It is heartening to see local media beginning to see through the glib reassurances of some and explore the real problems that the new “reform” movement is causing education in our parish.
The KLFY page is a little confusing—the report is broken up into two parts. In the first Espinoza points to testing mandates from the state and from the parish that focus teacher’s attention on making points rather than educating their different students. Even more disturbing is that those teachers who insist on teaching their students as if they are individuals rather than test scores are punished by the grading system that the state has imposed.
In the second video retired teacher Mangham speaks plainly about the intimidation that most teachers feel and the absurd idea that the newly mandated curriculum pushed by business interests gives us anything new in regard to “critical thinking.” As she says teachers have long been focused on just that—even, I might add, when the business community was promoting the previous bit of “educational reform” silliness in the form of content-centered curriculum and end-of-course testing that condemned critical thinking.