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Monday, May 9, 2011

It's Because of New Hampshire

You know the state motto in New Hampshire is "Live Free or Die". New Hampshire's Teacher of The Year, Angie Miller, just became a new hero to a lot of teachers.
From The Answer Sheet:

What 2011 Teachers of the Year told the Ed Dept.

The single time spontaneous applause erupted from the teachers was when Angie Miller, the 2011 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year, spoke candidly about teachers and mentioned that she was “annoyed” by an open letter to teachers Duncan had written for Teacher Appreciation Week.

Miller was one of a number of teachers who served as representatives of discussion groups that had earlier come up with recommendations for the Education Department to consider in rewriting No Child Left Behind. The panel of department officials included Deputy Secretary Tony Miller, Assistant Secretary Carmel Martin, Duncan Chief of Staff Joanne Weiss and Assistant Deputy Secretary Jim Shelton.
Angie Miller, a language arts teacher at Holderness Central School, was the last teacher to address the panel. Her topic was parent involvement (she started by saying that it was appropriate that she spoke last because parent involvement is always given short shrift), and she brought up issues often ignored in school reform discussions:
*That the No. 1 correlation regarding student academic achievement is with the education level of the parent (which itself correlates to family income).
*That she was “annoyed” by Duncan’s letter, published by Education Week and on the Education Department website, in part because he didn’t mention parent involvement.
(Her comment about Duncan’s letter elicited a joke from the panel’s moderator, Massie Ritsch, deputy assistant secretary for outreach, about how the department could rescind her Teacher of the Year honor. Teachers laughed, and a panel member noted that he didn’t have the power to rescind it. Funny stuff.)
*That no reform program ever has made parent involvement a central focus.
*That the entire conversation in the auditorium at the Education Department up until that point had placed the responsibility for ensuring student success “on our shoulders,” meaning that teachers were being held accountable for student achievement even though there are many factors over which a teacher has no control.
Read the full article by clicking here.

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