It has been proven time and again that American schools are divided by class. Those in well funded school districts score fine on tests; those in poorly funded districts do not do well on tests. The resources schools receive are based upon the local property tax and where there is wealth, there is a decent public school.
I can understand people concluding that we should change the way we fund our schools. What I can't understand is how teachers can be blamed for the test results of their students who are in these poorly resourced schools. It is bizarre.
These so-called reformers who blame teachers for students failing standardized tests have taken leaps of logic down the rabbit hole. If a school is the center of a poorly resourced community, those students will reflect that poverty. Poverty has enormous impact on children which has been proven time and time again. To believe that teachers can make up for that poverty and somehow change the trajectory of that child is simply that - a belief. It is not a fact. What is a fact is that children who come to school traumatized by their lives living in poverty will find it very difficult to keep up with children who have not suffered that type of poverty.
I challenge those of you who believe that somehow teachers in our public schools are to blame for some students who are poorly educated (however you define that), read the following studies and then tell me you still believe that if only the teachers were better and they didn't belong to unions, the schools would be just fine.
Ravitch, Diane. 2014. Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools.
Jensen, Eric. 2013. How Poverty Affects Classroom Engagement. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may13/vol70/num08/How-Poverty-Affects-Classroom-Engagement.aspx
Gray & Thompson, 2004. Neurobiology of Biology: Health Implications. Retrieved from http://users.loni.usc.edu/~thompson/PDF/GT_DM_5b.pdf