Mitchell Robinson: The Danger of Silencing Teachers

Mitchell Robinson, professor of music education at Michigan State, writes a very sad story here about a dedicated teacher who was threatened with firing if she refused to name names.

“Rachel [a pseudonym] is one of those teachers who has devoted herself, personally and professionally, to her career. The kind of teacher who arrives at school early, leaves late, takes her work home with her at night, creates new projects over the weekend–and purchases the materials out of her own pocket, arranges field trips and brings in guest artists and speakers for her students, organizes birthday parties, and wedding showers, and baby showers for her colleagues, hosts student teachers from the local university, serves as a teacher leader in her school district, attends her students’ concerts, and soccer games, and piano recitals, and dance recitals, and graduation ceremonies, pursues professional development opportunities on the weekends, takes graduate classes and workshops over the summer, has little to no idea how much she makes in her yearly salary, and puts her students’ needs above her own.

“In short, a teacher.

“In addition to her job as a classroom teacher, Rachel had also volunteered to serve as her district’s compliance officer for the state’s review of their status as a PLA (Persistently Low Achieving) school district.”

Rachel mentioned to her principal that she had heard some opt out discussion and thought the staff needed a reminder that the school could be closed if it didn’t have a 95% participation rate. In short order, the superintendent called her in and demanded that she name names. She refused. She got legal counsel from the Michigan Education Association.

Nothing availed. It was her job or her integrity. Why should any teacher be forced to make that choice?

from novemoore http://ift.tt/2oTjRTI

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