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Teacher: "All the Good Teachers Are Starting to Leave"

Teacher: "All the Good Teachers Are Starting to Leave"

Susan B. Barber, a teacher at Northgate High School in Georgia, wrote a letter to Georgia State School Superintendent Richard Woods about the state of standardized testing, highlighting why "the good teachers are starting to leave."

"I love students, and I love teaching," she wrote in the letter, which was featured in an article on WashingtonPost.com. "I want to be a teacher who is 'part of the solution and not part of the problem,' which is harder and harder to do in education today. While I have little control over decisions on a large-scale, my mind is continually thinking on and dreaming of ways to make my classroom, and our system, better."

Barber said that she has three degrees, two at the graduate level, "but my performance, training, and knowledge is almost always assessed through my students’ standardized tests scores or through a teacher evaluation system which is seriously flawed."

"While I am committed to the standards on which we are measured, a quick stop in my room by an administrator who is also overworked and held to absurd standards is not how I want to be assessed," she wrote. "Come to my room anytime to see what we are learning and doing, but please take time to do more than check off the requirements I am meeting. My classroom experience is far bigger than a checklist. Talk to my students. Talk to me."

She wrote that if she is going to be measured by these standards, then she needs "more time to teach them to read and write."

"Please protect my instructional time. I want to teach my students," she wrote. "My students need me to teach them. Please protect our administrators’ time by allowing them to be about the business of curriculum planning, strategic and long-term goal setting, and spending quality time with teachers and students."

"Students do not directly benefit from testing, yet that is where the money goes," she continued. "I understand this is a complex issue with federal and state requirements to be fulfilled, but our students are suffering while political gains are being made. We must put a stop to this."

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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