Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Stan Karp gave a presentation at a high school in Portland, Oregon in regards to "bad teachers" and charter schools.  He used the movie Waiting for "Superman" as a talking point within his presentation, "Who's Bashing Teachers and Public Schools, and What Can We Do About It?" 

In the presentation he discusses how the "documentary", Waiting for "Superman", it suggests that the reason students are not performing up to standard is because of the "bad" teachers.  It suggests that creating more charter schools and having more standardized testing could help students to perform better. Karp in disagreement decided to start a NOT waiting for "Superman" movement to voice his opinions and ideas of this raised issue. 

In the article, it states that most charter school teachers gain education through Teach for America, and lack certifications.  How can that be beneficial to students?  Also, is the curriculum aligned with the public schools or are they teaching to the test to achieve decent tests scores? Yet they do state that only 17% of charter schools had better scores that public schools.

I discussed " standardized testing" with my colleagues today.  We were taking about ways these tests do not prove teachers to be "bad".  What if a student was unfocused and just created a picture while filling in the answers? What if a pet or family member passed away the week, days before?  Maybe one is feeling sick or the room is too hot?  What about if they did not sleep or did not have breakfast? We discussed how we, as teachers, cannot make a student take these long tests seriously if they choose not to.   I looked up pros and cons of standardized testing and found some interesting information.  It really makes one think if they are effective.

So should teachers be responsible for student test scores? Should teachers be paid by their performance?  Should teachers be assessed using the scores of their students? .......Why don't teachers just teach to the test?  Other common questions are answered by FairTest, a National Center for Fair and Open Testing.

It was very interesting to hear what Stan Karp had to say regarding the film, Waiting for "Superman".  Now I am excited to see what touched Karp so deeply that he had to create a retaliation.


  1. Rebecca, I love your cartoon! I need to print it out and share it with my colleagues. : ) I too am excited about finally seeing the movie that stirred so many educators. Nina said something about popcorn...

  2. Rebecca, I'm looking forward to seeing the film as well...the Karp article definitely piqued my interest! I was discussing this article with my colleagues as well, and the emphasis that government officials and people who have never taught a day in their lives put on standardized testing! It makes me wonder nowadays who would go into this field for the "love of teaching" if they knew they were going to be "teaching to the test" all day long.

  3. Rebecca, I loved the cartoon as well. Nice use of hyperlinks and overview of Karp.

  4. The hyperlinks were great... I am interested to see if you agree with Karp's assessment after seeing the film tomorrow!