Thursday, March 27, 2008

Taking education very, very seriously

I understand wanting the best for the children, but the guy in this story from Roger Croteau of the Express-News should probably relax a bit more.

NEW BRAUNFELS -- A middle school principal threatened to kill a group of science teachers if their students did not improve their standardized test scores, according to a complaint filed with the New Braunfels Police Department.

Anita White, who taught at New Braunfels Middle School for 18 years before being transferred this month to the district's Learning Center, said Principal John Burks made the threat in a Jan. 21 meeting with eighth-grade science teachers.

She said Burks was angry that scores on benchmark tests were not better, and the scores on the upcoming Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills tests must show improvement.

"He said if the TAKS scores were not as expected he would kill the teachers," White said. "He said 'I will kill you all and kill myself.' He finished the meeting that way and we were in shock. Obviously, we talked about it among ourselves. He just threatened our lives. After he threatened to kill us, he said, 'You don't know how ruthless I can be.'

"We walked out of the meeting just totally dumbfounded because it was not a joke," White said.


"It sounds like a case of TAKS tyranny taken to the extreme," said Joe Bean a spokesman for the Texas State Teachers Association, who said teachers and administrators are often punished for disappointing test performance.

For some reason, I now think that the phrase "TAKS tyranny" gets used a lot more often than I ever would have thought before reading this story.

1 comment:

Kels said...

Wow. I mean... WOW. TAKs Tyranny usually is more along the lines of you won't be back in a TAKs grade level again if your kids don't do well... but at the same time you have to look at MUCH more than that... I mean, not all human beings do well on standardized tests... Unfortunately for us teachers, the principals and others involved in shifting teachers out of these positions don't pay much attention to the work they put into trying to prepare the kids for the test... For lack of a better anecdote: "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink," would be wisely reflected on!