In response to the post, “Teach to the Test,” a reader writes:
“I remember when President Bush was asked about the issue of teaching to the test. His reply was along the line of, ‘If teaching to the test means teaching kids how to read, then what’s wrong with teaching to the test?’
Or, to paraphrase the leading experts in our field, ‘If teaching to the test means teaching to standards, what’s wrong with that?’
There is no “academic freedom” in public education. If that is what we seek and desire, then we all need to get our doctorates and find jobs in universities. Until that time, we must focus on teaching the standards using artful, effective instruction.
I’ll paraphrase our leading expert, E.Don Brown. “Teachers have to be experts; experts in the how of instruction. It is the responsibility of leadership to provide the what and the when.”
And I’ll remind every teacher to remember the immortal words of the great educational philosopher, Frank Sinatra. He said, “I don’t move pianos.”
Frank’s point being that his job was to show up and perform; that was his expertise. To perform at his genius level required his singular focus. He understood that the other tasks that lead up to his performance had to be the responsibility of others. Embrace your inner Frank.
Think. Work. Achieve.