Friday, June 6, 2008

Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll

I am not inclined to like any type of poll and with this one it was no different. The poll seemed to tend or be biased by lumping similar responses together to appear to be a majority answer, when in fact if looked at separately they were not.
What I did find interesting and a repetitive factor in several readings and even in class discussions, was the observation that the more information or the more familiar people in general became with the NCLB law, the more they disliked it or saw it as ineffective and faulty. The initial idea behind the law seems to be solid and even noble, but unfortunately instead of opening doors for everyone to learn it is acting as a barrier for those with any type of difficulty, whether they are students with disabilities, foreign students or simply those who are not as privileged as others. It’s not concerned with students’ abilities, it is concerned only with whether or not they can pass State designed tests in select areas. The poll mentioned NCLB’s requirement of students being taught by highly qualified teachers. I would like to ask the same question that it asks: what does it mean to be highly qualified? Does it mean being certified? Does it mean having a bachelors in the discipline to be taught? Does it mean having a masters, or perhaps a PhD? Are those the only requirements? Does being a highly qualified teacher have to do with sincerity, willingness to help, openness to new approaches, new techniques, diversified teaching and learning, does it have to do with honesty? Is good character a part of a highly qualified teacher? None of these questions are answered, but I believe that they are important especially to prospective teachers who wish to make a difference, to help students not only in school but in their lives.

No comments: