No profession is under more scrutiny than teaching.
We say to teachers: Take our children and make them model citizens, able to thrive and navigate the future. Often cutting resources, we also create standards for teachers to meet. And then – shockingly – there’s pushback!
Several months ago, we sat down with Bob Frahm, a former Mirror reporter and, before that, a Courant writer who covered education for more than two decades. A past president of the national Education Writers Association, Bob is a former teacher.
We wanted him to focus on a few key issues in education, and dissect them so readers could understand them at their roots – an examination no daily reporter has time to do. We agreed that no single issue in education has been more controversial in the past few years than teacher evaluations.
This week, the Mirror ran “Teacher Evaluations: Too Much Science, Not Enough Art?”, which opens with a third-grade teacher in Fairfield who’s teaching a poetry lesson to her class, her principal “scratching notes into a spiral notebook” in the back of the classroom.
Bob follows the process, looking at it from just about every angle – from that of principals and other administrators, superintendents, union leaders and Stefan Pryor, the education commissioner. He quotes a UConn pilot study, a Gates Foundation study and national figures criticizing the process, which helps put it into a national perspective.
The story “package” includes a timeline of how Connecticut arrived at this process, and the state Department of Education’s rating protocols.
This is the first in several “deep dive” stories on teaching The Mirror will be doing thyear. Stay tuned!
Other top stories this week:
It’s spring (at least by the calendar) – enjoy your weekend!