Colorado has in fact created a GREAT and significant opportunity for teachers:
Any teacher who can reasonably document consistent parental contact (or lack there of as is usually the case), keep record of homework, report card and agenda book signatures is on the way to putting the administration and school district up to getting their game on. In this case, a teacher can only be accountable when the school administrators and disctrict went above and beyond in parent outreach, etc. as any teacher who can substantiate why Johnny or Jane did not suceed, when the teacher went to the wall, will make the school district and parents look like loons.
Although documentation is time consuming and tedious, it gives teachers the upper hand to put the blame exactly where it belongs – with parents and administrators. Teachers need to start in Sept on day one and make sure they have records of parents pulling their weight and those who do not, do quarterly reports for admin every time there is a grade report so NO administrator can say, “You didn’t tell me, warn me, inform me, etc.” Any school with a back log of student study team meetings, funding issues, lack of adequate RSP and other services is merely asking for teachers to go public with the documentation (no student or parent names mind you, just the documentation).
When the reality of how hard teachers work actually comes out, school districts in Colorado will not be able to find anyplace in the Rockies to hide. Although this year is by far going to be long and difficult, if done right, teachers can actually come out ahead and shine a light on the vast dark hole called lack of parental involvement and administrative excuse making.
“Education is not just you and your class. It’s not an individual activity. If you’re doing your best, it’s a system you’re a part of,” Bobb said.
Teachers in Colorado – I want to wish you every success as I KNOW you are up to the task. Don’t be scared – carry pen and paper and get it all down. Enjoy this rare opportunity to put the parents of your students and administrators on notice about what you expect so Johnny and Jane can succeed.