I am a third grade teacher in Manatee County, Florida. My story began the day Mark Rolewski walked through my classroom. He is an education consultant from
Why am I risking my career to shed light on this situation?
Please, keep reading to find out.
You see when Mark Rolewski walked through my classroom months ago; we were scheduled to do reading intervention. Except on this day a little girl in my class put down her head and began to cry her eyes out on her intervention booklet. The day before, Animal Control had taken away her dog, because it was malnourished and they had to euthanize him, or so she was told. The family was also reported, because no one over age 13 was home at the time Animal Control arrived. When her father came home all he did was yell, not about the dog, but about his fear of deportation. So that day, instead of doing reading intervention, I let my students use computers, play board games, and read freely, so I could sit with this little upset girl and comfort her. Mark Rolewski walked in my room, administration with him. He looked around, made a point to look at my schedule, and glared at me and my sobbing student. Then he said (and this will be with me for the rest of my life), “You are scheduled for intervention at this time. This is not explicit instruction.” And he walked out. So I was made to feel like bad teacher, because I made the choice to help an emotionally compromised student.
I am one of thousands of teachers across the state of
Schools like mine are considered failing or in need of improvement. We are compared with schools that have students from affluent families. Our students are viewed as points of data, not persons with emotional needs. This “black” student is a bubble student, so they need more work to get them to a level 3. These four “ESL” (Latino) students need intensive instruction to move their scores to a level where the school will make Yearly Adequate Progress (AYP). They are not children anymore; they are numbers on the FCAT test. Mark Rolewski has made a lucrative business out of this fact. Mark Rolewski has made a business where he takes taxpayer money to tell Administrators to tell their teachers to work harder, with disregard for actual students