Motoko Rich reports on a district in Pennsylvania where budget cuts have led to teacher layoffs and increased class sizes.
The story could be repeated in districts across the nation.
Class sizes are growing, and schools are eliminating guidance counselors, nurses, classroom aides, librarians, and regular classroom teachers.
In Philadelphia earlier this fall, a 12-year-old student died because there was no nurse on duty that day, due to budget cuts.
We hear so-called reformers proclaim about the importance of teacher evaluation, merit pay, and test scores, but I have yet to hear any of them complain about budget cuts and lack of staff for the arts, physical education, foreign languages, libraries, and so on.
We read the New York Times editorials offering “solutions” to the math and science education or gifted education, but the editorial writers usually forget to mention budget cuts and layoffs. How are schools supposed to enact any of their proposals when teachers are stressed out with crowded classrooms? When they are expecting to be judged by test scores on material they never taught? When they are supposed to introduce Common Core without resources or professional development? When testing companies have been given control of curriculum?
Teachers and administrators are facing a barrage of changes for which they are ill-prepared and for which there is no money for implementation. This is no reform. This is harassment.