Friday, October 19, 2012

Luna laws are misguided

The idiocy of these so-called Luna Laws is insulting. As an Idaho teacher, I have never felt as unappreciated as I do now.

I teach in a low-income community where kids come from troubled families and live in deplorable conditions. For most students of poverty, survival is the chief concern, not education. Kids don’t care about improving ISAT scores when they’re hungry or have no bed to sleep in. Why would they? Yet, despite these challenges, we met AYP and were rated a four-star school. It was a real slap in the face when we were denied Pay for Performance money.

Who is Luna to say our students haven’t shown enough growth, even though they score proficient, quite a feat considering their circumstances? Why should my income be dependent on that when so many of these factors are out of my control?

Like other teachers, my salary has been cut. My district is so hard-up that I have no budget to buy frogs for my biology students or rockets for my physical science class. I’d love to take my earth science kids to the wastewater treatment plant, but the expense of a field trip is out of the question.

With all that we must do without, how can Luna justify spending money on laptops? If a student isn’t driven enough to succeed in a physical classroom, what makes Luna think he’ll do it in a virtual one? Requiring online classes does nothing more than set students up to fail.

Congratulations to those who’ll be receiving a bonus. They deserve every penny. But spare a thought for those of us who’re left wondering how we’re supposed to work harder and do better than we already do. Where is our motivation supposed to come from when even our great leader doesn’t care?

Andrea Robbins


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