The University of California, Santa Cruz, e-mailed my department last week looking to match its student teachers with mentors. New teacher training inspires me more than anything lately so I e-mailed my department head looking for his endorsement. No response.
We examined last year’s assessment data at the next department meeting. Good, not great, and as fully one-sixth of my department, I must shoulder a good amount of blame for my time-sucking, standards-unaligned Feltron Project, which sunk a lot of my Geometry students, I’m positive. The fact is this: if we post the same growth this year as we did the last, we won’t make Adequate Yearly Progress, putting us a year away from Program Improvement.
The department head acknowledged that, yes, mentoring novice teachers is an essential part of this job but, at this critical time, we need better than novices in our classrooms. He didn’t shut the door but gave us all good reason to do it ourselves.
I can’t really square this aspect of NCLB with my conviction that its problems (and we likely disagree on what constitutes “its problems”) result of poor implementation, not of policy itself.
I can see how simply absolving student teachers of any obligation to adequate yearly progress would lead to all sorts of awful scheduling, mendacious administrators assigning the most needy students to the most inexperienced teachers.
I can’t see what NCLB is doing to the onerous process of training new teachers except to make it more onerous.