We are in the last 9 weeks stretch! I can’t believe that this school year is coming to a close so quickly. Normally, we would be experiencing high anxiety because of all the things that have to be completed before this school year ends. I keep apologizing to the principals and the central office group for my "TAKS Anxiety" but so much is at stake. I know our teachers have been working hard to give the students every bit of instruction that they need to have in order to be successful on this very important assessment. Instead of having all of our energies focused on students and student achievement, we all have the legislative cloud hanging over us.
What will we have to work with next year in order to provide a sound education to our students? I laughed as I read an article today about a new statistic…that statistic being that there is a 1 to 1 ratio of administrators to teachers. I laugh because that is CRAZY. Some schools may be staffed with more administrators and if that is the case, I am certain that many of the administrators have been placed in those positions to meet and administer all of the MANY unfunded mandates, comm-issioner’s rules, federal rules and regulations that are imposed on school districts. Teachers are hired to teach and they should not be required to deal with the overload of rules, reports, and administrative regulations that are required of school districts. I know of no other industry that is required to go to constant professional development just to keep up with and be informed of the rules, regulations and requirements like is required of people in the field of education.
What are some of these requirements? Just in the administration of the state assessment alone, there are currently 25 days of testing, the testing does not just happen, someone has to order the test, set up the testing schedules, group the students, get substitutes, order accommodations from TEA, make sure test administrators are trained, attend TEA training to administer the test, make sure the boxes are locked up under one key that no one else has access to, make forms for teachers to sign and account for the tests before and after testing, gather the testing documents, account for them again, keep them secure, box them, check them, order snacks, get lunch lined out for testers, make sure that those that are not testing are taken care of and still receiving instruction, last thing call the shipper to pick up the tests the day they are completed and most important to make sure that no mistakes are made so that a testing violation does not occur. Oh and this is just the paper version, what about the electronic online version of the new End of Course Exam, let me take you through that procedure. No instead lets go over to the mandated school health advisory meetings, the safety audit, Performance Based Monitoring, or the required instruction on family violence, the fitnessgram that must be administered in grades 3-12, or the instruction on abstinence or the instruction on dating violence, or the mandated instruction on character education. I forgot about obesity training, asthma training, and the mandatory training on diabetes. What about peer mediation? Okay, what about the mandatory reports to the TEA, No Child Left Behind and applying for competitive grants just to get our students more technology. These are all great programs, but schools can not do it all with no staff. How could teachers still teach if they have to manage all of these mandatory programs? With 45 days of testing coming upon us in the coming school year, how dare the legislators make a one size fits all statement that we have too many administrative staff and too many staff members other than teachers. It takes people to operate a school. Teachers play the most vital role, but there are many valuable people supporting our teachers in order for them to be able to teach. Please excuse the rant, but school people are getting beat up on daily by people who look solely at statistics on paper and do not look at the requirements that have been heaped upon us. Cut some of the red tape, the unfunded mandates and the useless requirements and maybe we can become more efficient. I fully support accountability in all areas, but don’t make it impossible to meet the standards. We need to remember who we are working for and why schools exist………..we exist for students.
Please visit www.san-saba.net to view events and find information you need to know about SSISD. As well, don’t forget to sign up for the "alerts" available from the website, and don’t miss the opportunity to sign up for the Parent Portal giving parents access to grades and attendance. Parents, let us know how we can help you the first day of school all the way until the last day of school!! If you have any question about this article or any other question about school happenings please contact me at 325/372-3144 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . We are San Saba! We are together!