Some fun facts about where American education is heading. New Federal mandates for the commonwealth states bring new teacher evaluations. All students in elementary and high school must take new standardized testing that is completely computer based. On top of this every student must take the now-70 minute evaluations at the exact same time. Most schools do not have enough computers to accomodate every single student in one sitting. If the school breaks up the time the students have to do the testing, every test will be considered a failure, and the students will have to re-take the test. This only leaves the option of shipping students to other schools for testing, which will stress out the students as well is not covered by any Federal backup. This will inevitably waste school budgets simply for transportation of all of the excess students. Now that the students have 70 minutes instead of the standard 40-60 minutes, they will need to sit still for an extra 30-10 minutes in front of a computer screen with nothing to do. How they expect elementary school students to do this is beyond me.
Also, the new teacher evaluations are terrible. 50% of Literature (English) and Math teachers evaluations will now be based on student grade scores. This means if a student refuses to do their work, the teacher will be the one suffering from it. Because of this the teachers already in the field will most likely be seen refusing these classes, as well new teachers will not want to teach these courses simply because the Federal mandates that a teacher lose their tenor and even their job based on this evaluation.
The Federal law requires all schools to have advanced specialized special education classes for the mentally inept. This is fine and all, except that the Federal government is pulling ALL funding for these reforms by next year, whilst still REQUIRING schools to follow the existing mandates. This will drain out a schools budget like a wildfire considering how much extra time and utilities are needed for special needs students. Special needs teachers cost a considerable amount more than regular teachers, however without the proper utilities to teach a special needs student, a special needs teacher would never be caught anywhere near a school without the proper utilities.
And one more thing, to everyone who believes teachers make oh so much money, my own Mother has her Master's for every educational aspect there is for teaching to an Elementary school student, only makes a mere 54,000 a year (after 16 years of working at the same school), and has to pay into her own 403B, which NO money is put into her pension unless she does it herself. Teachers are getting fucked in this country, hard.