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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

An Ode to the teachers.......

Good evening folks. I come to you tonight with something interesting. School ranking systems. Today, in the Chronicle Herald the breakdown of the best and worst schools were unleashed to the public. Interestingly enough my former high school was ranked the "worst" school in the province and it's neighboring school ranked second worst.
This troubles me. I am troubled because as a teacher I feel for every single competent teacher within those two schools. Within these schools are some of the best teachers any student will ever have.I wonder how they feel. If I were a teacher there I would be feeling pretty bad about that general ranking which is why I do not agree with general ranking schemes. Ranking schools is great for publicity for those schools whom rank high on these particular scales, but for my former high school this is not the case. Which frustrates me. Are parents all over the province going to see that and stereotype the learning capacity within that school and not send their children there. These ranking systems should not be in place. The negative publicity it generates for those schools who apparently score low do not receive anything good from this ranking. But yet, every year we see these schools singled out and stereotyped for a whole year. If I were teaching at my former school right now I would be advocating for this ranking system to be dismissed or changed to eliminate these outliers. This ranking system only promotes confusion, stereotyping, judging, marginalizations, and it does not get at the heart of the true struggles our province faces. We have rural area school enrollment numbers dropping and overall under funding. Why is it that a ranking system is necessary when these other issues are more important to address? This systemic ranking is designed to distract us from the real issues.
In closing, avoid supporting these rankings or at least try to separate a schools highly competent teachers and an excellent Nova scotia curriculum from a subjective, superfluous ranking. Send your child to any school they wish, and let them be the judge for themselves.

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