DPAS-II. Component V. Teacher Evaluations. Standardized Testing scores. Priority Schools. Smarter Balanced Assessments. Teachers have it rough now. It’s not like the halcyon days of old. The Delaware Department of Education doesn’t make it easy on teachers. Where did this apathy come from?
In a very extensive investigation, I have stumbled upon the unfettered truth. I interviewed many members of the DOE. None of them wanted to go on the record with their actual names for fear of reprisal, not only from their superiors, but also the actual teachers.
One employee, who would only go by the name of Nickle Huffy said “It’s our priority to put teachers in their place.” When I asked why she would only say “You know why. Don’t try to make me look stupid.”
Another employee, very high up, named Davina Gustwoman, said “It’s obvious Mr. Ohlandt. They get something none of us do. It’s called summer. They are off. Sure, some of them do some ESY classes or work other jobs, but they have a flexibility we don’t have at the DOE. We have to work year-round. And we don’t get “professional development days”. We get meeting after meeting, all year long.”
I checked with another employee, who would only say his name was “Surfer Boy”, said “I take every chance I can humanly get to put these teachers in their place. They are nothing but human capital, fit only for the dregs of society. I’m working on something I can only call “Component VI”. This will solve the problem once and for all.” I asked Surfer Boy if this hatred had anything to do with the DOE not getting off in the summer. He just looked at me for a while. “Yes, it has everything to do with that. Look at me, I was born to be at the beach. But no, I have to do report after report. Screw those teachers. Why can’t they just do the normal thing and go to Teach For America?”
One of the state board members, who would only go by the name of “Professor Beige”, said “Do we give teachers a rough time? I wasn’t aware of this. I know they come to our meetings sometimes, but I don’t pay them any mind. Is this related to Common Core?” I just kind of shrugged my head and walked away.
I was talking to a receptionist about some current legislation when the oddest thing happened. The Secretary came out of his office as I was talking about a bill concerning “death with dignity”. I mentioned the word euthanasia and the Secretary said “Yes, youth in Asia know all about rigor. They don’t opt out of tests. They would be shot!” I asked the Secretary what he thought of teachers in Delaware. He said “Kids can’t opt out of the test, they aren’t allowed. Kids have to take tests. It’s a part of life.” The receptionist said he has been saying that ever since he appeared on the Delaware Way a couple months ago with Larry Mendte. Apparently it takes weeks to train him on these things, but the effect doesn’t go away for a long time.
I saw Nickle Huffy again. She said things haven’t been the same for the Secretary since all the teachers were rated effective last year. “Something popped in his brain, and it never popped back into its proper slot.” She said this happened to many of the employees there last August. She said at meetings the Secretary just kind of stares into space. “We don’t know where he is most of the time, even when he is sitting right in front of us.”
While interviewing employees, I accidentally walked into a leadership meeting. “Suzie Wannamichelob”, as she preferred to be called, said “What are you doing here sir?” I looked at her and said “Calm down. It could be worse. I could be Mike Matthews.” Everyone looked at me as if I dropped a bomb in the room. It got quieter than the DOE at a Race To The Top Q&A House Education Committee meeting. “We don’t say that name around here,” Suzie said. “Mr. Ohlandt, I think we’ve given you enough information. Why don’t you just go back to your blogger batcave and write more horrible and nasty things about us,” Surfer Boy shouted.
On the way out, I saw a State Board employee named “DJ”. She was very secretive about not revealing her identity. She told me some more about what happened the day all the teachers were rated effective. The Governor came in and had a sit down with the entire Department. The Secretary just kept banging his head on the desk. The Governor said to the group “What is wrong with you people? It’s not supposed to go down like this. How can we ever get rid of a group of perfect people?” He told them from here on out they had to increase the gap between a horrible teacher and effective teachers. “Only I get to say who is a good teacher. Or my buddy Paul and his illustrious dream team. But you sorry sacks of… You just aren’t proficient enough!” At this point, no one was able to keep it in anymore. Everyone started crying hysterically. “It was the darkest day I’ve ever seen at the Department,” DJ explained. “We all thought we were doing such a rigorous job, but somehow the teachers made us look like a bunch of standard government employees.”
It was obvious the DOE was infected by some sort of illness I’ve never seen before. It was like rigor mania. But I at last knew why they couldn’t stand teachers… the whole summer vacation thing. At the end of the day, they were jealous. I walked out of the DOE and I had to wonder… how soon would this Department collapse under its own weight?