Parents: Time to Step Up Our Game

Parents: Time to Step Up Our Game
by Emily Talmage
Just over two years ago, a letter to the editor appeared in our local paper that sent teachers into an uproar. Our schools are failing! a man named Mr. Sabine had written, and the only way to fix them was to get “tough on teachers.”

Educators from across the district wrote in to defend the hard work that they do each day. Many called the author ignorant – which he was.

But I fumed for a different reason.

For seven years, I had worked in schools deemed failures based on the rules of No Child Left Behind. My first year, I was determined to raise my students’ test scores and lift us from an F to an A. By year seven, I knew that I was playing a rigged game.

Our schools were deemed “failing” because standardized tests said they were – not because they reflected any truth about our schools other than the economic background of our student population.

Mr. Sabine’s perception of our schools was proof that the planned attack on our public schools was working: the public believed what the tests said about our schools.

And so I wrote my own letter pointing out… (read more here:

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