Don’t blame public school teachers for the drop in test scores. They have zero control over curriculum and education policy. Almost every detail of their professional experience is dictated to them. They have little or no independence of choice over teaching instructional methods or style. They are choked by mandates and lockstep orders. If the arrangement of desks in their classroom or the color of paper on their bulletin boards is not to the liking of their supervisors, they can be found insubordinate unless they show repentance by conformity. They can go through the motions of filing a grievance, but that grievance procedure will not save them, because the Department of Education representatives have been instructed to invariably side with management.
Teachers typically have no influence over budget decisions or the allocation of materials and resources. Educators are an endangered species at the Department of Education. They have been replaced by MBAs and lawyers. Many senior managers at headquarters and in schools are hardly old enough to vote. All this dates from the “glory” years of mayoral control. By all means hold teachers accountable. But first give them the means to do the job!