About Bev Martin

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Superman Ain’t Coming

fat-superman We are in a pickle, my fellow educators. Make no mistake. Our best teachers, our top ten percent, as determined by various criteria including test scores, deceive and manipulate the administration in order to produce the results they’re famous for and preserve their love of the job. But all we’ve done is adapt to a dysfunctional system. Continue reading →

Rushed Reforms are Fantastic Failures

report-card-blog This situation makes me think about the overall “education reform” movement that surrounds our schools, as students, teachers and administrators are inundated with new programs that must happen immediately, if not sooner. With any of the initiatives, proper planning, training, teacher input and resources are a necessity. Otherwise, no matter how educationally sound, the program will not succeed. Continue reading →

‘Tis the season for gift giving

diffendoofer-blog ‘Tis the season for gift-giving, and with so many test-driven “school reform” policies being passed at the Ohio Statehouse this year, now would be a great time to present our lawmakers with gift-wrapped copies of one of the most forward-thinking children’s books ever written, Hooray for Diffendoofer Day. Continue reading →

Public Salaries Defy the Myth

highest-paid-public-employees In all but ten states, coaches are the highest paid public employees. This is certainly true in Ohio, where Ohio State’s head football coach, Urban Meyer, made over $4.1 million from the university in his first year, not including bonuses. The average salary of a first year public school teacher in Ohio is about $33,000. So why is the political vitriol over salaries in this country aimed at teachers and not coaches? Continue reading →

It Takes a Village: Working Together for Public Education

NWOFPE3 Our first community event was an education piece about school finance, because so many of the issues impacting schools, high stakes testing, unfunded mandates and vouchers have a financial component tied to them. For example, Jeff Fouke, Treasurer for Washington Local Schools, explained that his district receives $2,969 per student from the state, but pays $6,876 to a charter school when a child transfers out of Washington Local. This means that close to $4,000 in local taxes are diverted from public schools per child. Despite the depressing statistics, I left the evening full of hope, because the event itself was a success. Continue reading →

Tao of the Sockless Floor

TaoSockslessFloor High stakes testing is like saying to your child, “I want you to clean your room. But, at the very least, I want you to pick up your socks.” For twenty years we’ve been teaching kids to pick up their socks. Our entire system is designed around that minimal level of achievement: our discipline policies, our attendance policies, our curriculum maps, our basic understanding of how schools operate. Everything is designed to get our kids to do the minimum. Continue reading →

Is Our Population Standard Enough for Standardized Testing

test-bias We all wonder whether high-stakes standardized tests are “fair” to our students. Our students are unique individuals, yet on testing day with pencil in hand they are suddenly all the same. Whether they differ ethnically, racially, socioeconomically, no one seems to care. As an instructor in an urban school district, I see some of my students struggle greatly with terms and concepts on standardized tests that are not always directly related to the curriculum. Continue reading →