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Tue Jun 18, 2019, 02:33 PM

"Today I resigned from the school district. I would like to share with you what I gave them."

Today I resigned from the school district. I would like to share with you what I gave them. Feel free to share it if it strikes you as important.

To: The School Board of Polk County, Florida

I love teaching. I love seeing my studentsí eyes light up when they grasp a new concept and their bodies straighten with pride and satisfaction when they persevere and accomplish a personal goal. I love watching them practice being good citizens by working with their peers to puzzle out problems, negotiate roles, and share their experiences and understandings of the world. I wanted nothing more than to serve the students of this county, my home, by teaching students and preparing new teachers to teach students well. To this end, I obtained my undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degrees in the field of education. I spent countless hours after school and on weekends poring over research so that I would know and be able to implement the most appropriate and effective methods with my students and encourage their learning and positive attitudes towards learning. I spent countless hours in my classroom conferencing with families and other teachers, reviewing data I collected, and reflecting on my practice so that I could design and differentiate instruction that would best meet the needs of my students each year. I not only love teaching, I am excellent at it, even by the flawed metrics used up until this point. Every evaluation I received rated me as highly effective.

Like many other teachers across the nation, I have become more and more disturbed by the misguided reforms taking place which are robbing my students of a developmentally appropriate education. Developmentally appropriate practice is the bedrock upon which early childhood education best practices are based, and has decades of empirical support behind it. However, the new reforms not only disregard this research, they are actively forcing teachers to engage in practices which are not only ineffective but actively harmful to child development and the learning process. I am absolutely willing to back up these statements with literature from the research base, but I doubt it will be asked for. However, I must be honest. This letter is also deeply personal. I just cannot justify making students cry anymore. They cry with frustration as they are asked to attempt tasks well out of their zone of proximal development. They cry as their hands shake trying to use an antiquated computer mouse on a ten year old desktop computer which they have little experience with, as the computer lab is always closed for testing. Their shoulders slump with defeat as they are put in front of poorly written tests that they cannot read, but must attempt. Their eyes fill with tears as they hunt for letters they have only recently learned so that they can type in responses with little hands which are too small to span the keyboard.

The children donít only cry. Some misbehave so that they will be the Ďbad kidí not the Ďstupid kidí, or because their little bodies just canít sit quietly anymore, or because they donít know the social rules of school and there is no time to teach them. My masterís degree work focused on behavior disorders, so I can say with confidence that it is not the children who are disordered. The disorder is in the system which requires them to attempt curriculum and demonstrate behaviors far beyond what is appropriate for their age. The disorder is in the system which bars teachers from differentiating instruction meaningfully, which threatens disciplinary action if they decide their students need a five minute break from a difficult concept, or to extend a lesson which is exceptionally engaging. The disorder is in a system which has decided that students and teachers must be regimented to the minute and punished if they deviate. The disorder is in the system which values the scores on wildly inappropriate assessments more than teaching students in a meaningful and research based manner.

On June 8, 2015 my life changed when I gave birth to my daughter. I remember cradling her in the hospital bed on our first night together and thinking, ďIn five years you will be in kindergarten and will go to school with me.Ē That thought should have brought me joy, but instead it brought dread. I will not subject my child to this disordered system, and I can no longer in good conscience be a part of it myself. Please accept my resignation from Polk County Public Schools.

Best,
Wendy Bradshaw, Ph.D.

https://www.facebook.com/wendy.bradshaw1/posts/10206677508354085?pnref=story


Very powerful statement by Dr. Bradshaw.

6 replies, 1110 views

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Reply "Today I resigned from the school district. I would like to share with you what I gave them." (Original post)
demmiblue Jun 2019 OP
snowybirdie Jun 2019 #1
tblue37 Jun 2019 #2
Desert grandma Jun 2019 #3
MyOwnPeace Jun 2019 #4
MarcA Jun 2019 #5
Karadeniz Jun 2019 #6

Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Tue Jun 18, 2019, 02:38 PM

1. Thank you

This plus Florida pays its teachers so little commensurate with their education and abilities.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Tue Jun 18, 2019, 02:39 PM

2. K&R and thanks. nt

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Tue Jun 18, 2019, 03:18 PM

3. If they would only listen to the teachers...

During the last NM Governor's term, (Martinez -R), we had a TERRIBLE Sec of Education that was hired straight out of Florida and Jeb Bush's administration. She was a disaster with parents and teachers.Hanna Skandera served the first 4 years without Senate confirmation, because she was SO controversial. She had NEVER spent a day in the classroom. She was finally confirmed during Martinez's final term, and left before her term expired. With a new Dem Governor, Michelle Lujan-Grisham, the emphasis has finally shifted back to students and student learning. Some basic skills testing might be OK, in order to focus curriculum, but these Republican administrations have made testing so important, that entire new industries in selling testing and associated materials has emerged. So glad we finally got rid of Martinez and her incompetent cabinet.

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Response to Desert grandma (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 18, 2019, 03:51 PM

4. And look at

what we have now as the "Secretary of Education!"

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Tue Jun 18, 2019, 04:24 PM

5. The Testing Industrial Complex

Demoralize students, teachers and staff. Defund Public Schools.
And $$$ to cons for all types of testing gimmicks. Straight out of
the Bush Crime Family Operation.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Tue Jun 18, 2019, 06:11 PM

6. Poor woman! I wonder if she could get into a decision-making position to effect change.

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