Cloning of Teachers

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Texas is Cloning Teachers

The Texas’ education system is made up of different groups that are suppose to work together. If they actually did work together, Texas would be providing the  the best education in the world.

The Texas Education Service Centers are Cloning Teachers

Texas ESCs Are
Cloning Teachers

One reason the different parts of the Texas Education System do not work together is that the Commissioner of Education has allowed the different agencies to basically do their own thing.

1. The State Board of Education (SBOE) is in charge of the TEKs-state standards. There is no verification that these standards are correct. No verification that the groups writing the TEKS are qualified.

2. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is in charge of STAAR/EOC tests that are suppose to be aligned to the TEKS. TEA test writers make their own interpretation of the TEKS but do not share this with Texas educators. There is no verification that these TESTs are valid to assess students.
3. The ESCs –Education Service Centers have taken control of interpreting the TEKS and school superintendents are responsible for purchasing the ESCs TEKS interpretations. The Commissioner of Education, Michael Williams allows the 20 ESCs to govern themselves. Governor Perry chose the Railroad Commissioner, Michael Williams to be the Commissioner of Education.
The ESCs now train teachers with a minimum of five years of teaching experience to be Instruction Coaches. These Coaches are given authority to govern what teachers teach. These coaches mandate that the ESC interpretation of the TEKS, AKA Unpackaged TEKS,  are used with fidelity. Meaning that not one word that is not in the TEKS may be included in lessons. These Instruction Coaches are part of the PLC program.
The diagram of people with no facial features is a good representation of  the cloned teachers that the Texas Education Centers are now creating with their new PLC program.
The PLC program is not restricted to Texas. In fact it is more of a common core program that the ESCs are implementing.
Following is a teacher’s comment about working in a school with a PLC Instruction Coach.

I transferred to a campus with the “PLC” mentality after eight reasonably successful years of teaching. I had been used to a system where we’d share ideas once a week, we’d be teaching the same SE, some of the materials we used were the same because they worked well for all of us. However, we were always free to review or extend as needed, and to use alternate texts if we felt they would work better with our particular students – as long as we were teaching the skill and could show results.

On this new campus, I was immediately thrown into a world in which I not only no longer had an opinion, but was essentially prohibited from adding any personal touches to the lessons that were given to us by the department heads under the guise of “collaboration”. It was same day, same story, same “foldable”, same power-point for everyone in the department – and none of it was near the standard of quality that I had previously implemented in my classroom. A lot of it was disjointed, or shallow, or only loosely connected to the SE… but saying as much made me a huge target.

On the first common assessment, I was “caught”, as my students scored significantly higher in some areas than my colleagues – and instead of being questioned about my methods in some positive way, I was reprimanded, because they knew I was tweaking what they had been giving me. The team leader began a vicious campaign against me, interrogating me during meetings, accusing me of doing a poor job, etc. – and the administrators were right with her. They began visiting my classroom several times a week, e-mailing me about the words or bits of assignments that didn’t seem to be consistent with my colleagues…

Additionally, we were required to use 4 out of 5 of our weekly planning periods (which are legally protected in my state from organized activities by the administration) to attend these “planning meetings” in which we were told what to do, how to do it, and interrogated as to whether we were in lock step.

To make a long story short, I lasted 3 months, began having panic attacks, and was reprimanded for it. This worsened the anxiety, and despite being under medical care, they panic attacks increased in frequency… The constant threat of visits, the interrogation, being told I was not doing well after years of being respected by former colleagues… it was all too much. I resigned for medical reasons, and I’m unsure if I’ll ever teach again.

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