i wrote a piece not too long ago about taking the Delaware Department of Educations teacher’s survey. In it, I said that having an overwhelming response from Delaware’s teachers, one that could be corroborated by sending the same response also to he DSEA, would be the best policy.

I said it would do these things.

It would stop the current corporate trends that are harmful to our children.
It would create dialogue which could point the corporate resources ($$$) towards actually improving education.
It would stop the notion that “teaching to the test” was real educational improvement.
It could create the winning combination of being pro teacher and pro corporate which would make Delaware pro student.

(Disclaimer: Some may think I was the author because of this idea way back here.)

John Young countered with another opinion. Being part of corporate America myself, that criticism struck home….
As a corporation, we rely on surveys. Just as polls are used in campaigns to determine whether or not to throw money into a state’s campaign, or not, in the corporate world where everyone also has an opinion related to their paycheck, getting the correct read is vital. Surveys widen the market place. Which is why every cashier is “forced” to entreat you to fill out a survey for your visit… The more information, the better the decision.

That goes for employee’s surveys as well. In the corporate world there are good and bad corporate captains. The good ones want clear data and work hard to make sure the data they have coming in is real. They bad ones, are looking for snakes. Their intent is to find out who is their enemy, without even wondering what they are doing so wrong that they would be in that position. There are good firms out there who comprise these surveys, and their prime selling point is their confidentiality. They do not identify their callers because if they did, they would not be hired by other companies… Gallup is a trustworthy polling outfit for this reason.

Now in today’s age, when one takes a survey, one’s phone number, one’s computer ID, and all of one’s cookies are recorded at the time of the survey. It is possible for someone to determine the location, the time, and perhaps get an idea of whom is making the survey. They then can set them up to be fired.

That is the warning John was making, and it would be worth taking that into consideration.

it is probably best that you get both sides. It is as if two people at work gave you both sides, and you then have to choose which you want.

Considering both options I would argue continuing with the high turnout on the survey for this reason…. Your lives as a teacher are hell right now. For any change to ever occur, it will have to come from an overwhelming response to this survey. If there is no forceful push on this survey to explain the frustration being felt by every teacher in these trying times, things will continue as they are. If things continue as they have, you will probably quit in four years anyway out of sheer personal frustration. If the place is going to hell in a bucket, you are better off getting fired. So take the survey. Likewise if the place is seriously going to get better at some future point, it can only happen if you take the survey… So my advice is…. take the survey.

it will probably be the bravest act you could do. It will probably be one of the most selfless acts you could do. It could, be one of the most beneficial acts you could do… if the results are read, tabulated, analyzed and if it becomes apparent to those running the Race to The Top, that those who will actually be doing the running, need to be a big part of the program.

Which means, constant measuring has to go out the window. Keep the best parts and throw the rest away.

Which means firing teachers by test results has to go out the window. keep the best parts, and throw the rest away.

Which means that Common Core has to go out the window. keep what works, and throw the rest out the window.

Remember, it would be just as bad to lose the good aspects of these programs the corporatizing of America’s education has given us, as it would to lose the good aspects the teaching profession has given over the past centuries of public education.

Only a union of the best of both, can move us forward. And the only conceivable way I can see this happening, begins with step one: which is having an overwhelming response to the survey….

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