Kenneth Bernstein recently retired as a high school teacher of government.
He regularly blogs as Teacherken at the Daily Kos, which is how I met him. He is–and I hesitate to write this–an almost saintly man, deeply devoted to students, teaching, education, and the betterment of humanity.
In this article, written in the journal of the American Association of University Professors, Ken explains to the professoriate that the students of the NCLB generation are woefully unprepared for the intellectual demands of college. The piece appeared in Academe and the original is here. Kudos to Academe for publishing Ken’s important article.
Please do not blame their teachers, he writes. Their teachers were compelled by federal policy to teach to tests that discouraged critical thinking. Even bright students in AP classes, like those he taught, were rewarded for bad writing. Bad writing is expected, promoted, demanded by the AP exams, which determine the reputation of high schools.
This is unquestionably the most remarkable and powerful piece that Ken Bernstein has written. Please read it.
Bookends: On the very first day this blog started, April 24, 2012, I posted a description of a college professor’s reaction to the NCLB generation.