Monday, March 29, 2010

New Iowa teaching standard = handling the media?

I'm not sure this really deserves front page status on the Des Moines Register, do you?

For those that do not know Sarah Brown Wessling, she is excellent. She is teacher of the year in Iowa for a reason, and the teacher that the Department of Education videotapes when they want to show other teachers a model Iowa Core lesson. That should suffice, but if not, ask any other faculty member of Johnston High School.

This type of complaining happens. When I was a principal at Grinnell, we had some of the best staff I have ever seen. And, there were still parental complaints. They were groundless, of course, but it is part of the open process that a school has with their community.

But, Grinnell's disgruntled parents didn't go to the Des Moines Register.

I'm not sure how the story got to the Register. I'm even more confused why the Register would print this, other than to be salacious. And at this point, it is a bell that cannot be unrung.

We at the AEA level have been in the news recently as well. Because of this new approach to journalism, the AEAs are having conversations with their consultants about how you address media questions. It looks as though districts will have to do the same thing. Not only with their staff, but with their board members as well.

Would you like to be Teacher of the Year, and open yourself up to front-page scrutiny from any disgruntled parent? I believe there are some long-term implications to this.

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