This is in response to Myra Jones' letter blaming the policy writers for setting supposedly impossible standards for teachers in education reform.
According to her, since these standards are undoable we need to exonerate the Atlanta teachers for cheating on the standardized test scores and make them victims instead.
First of all, why are these standards undoable? They are because Ms. Jones has quoted Professor Richard Rothstein from UC Berkeley as saying so.
There you go, folks, you can take that to the bank. Honestly, I doubt if Rothstein ever set foot in a public school classroom, and he is from the Institute of Law and Social Policy at Berkeley, undeniably the college birthplace of all liberal academics.
Despite three plus million teachers being able to teach to the standards, Ms. Jones believes that this small group of cheaters had to do what they did to salvage their jobs. Actually, all they had to do is what so many of the other responsible, hard-working teachers do: teach. But instead they decided to take the easy way and just changed the scores to make them seem competent to their superiors.
Ms. Jones also quotes Mr. Rothstein as comparing this with unrelated activities at the VA and banking and then makes a huge leap by blaming it all on the people embracing the privatizing of schools.
Ms. Jones gives us the predictable equivalent of the liberal grand slam rant (anti-standardized testing, victimization instead of taking responsibility, anti-military and anti-big business).
Rigorous standards typically produce a superior product. We already have many high school graduates who read at a fifth-grade level; should we add to that number?
Mark Mullen, M.Ed.