Restore the teaching profession

“Keeping Score” by Steven Allen Adams was front page news Sept. 15. The article made plain the schools are not making the grade. Dr. Paine, the state superintendent of schools said “We need to talk about how we work with local school boards but step up our efforts to hold districts accountable for performance.”

The local districts can be held accountable when they are granted responsibility commensurate with accountability.

To change the educational paradigm to a successful one, Dr. Paine and the appointed members of the WV State Board of Education must come to terms with the words accountability and responsibility.

Accountability refers to one who is answerable for the end result. Responsibility means the one held accountable has complete freedom of choice regarding the means and manner of operation.

One example should suffice:

The coach is held accountable for winning. So, the coach determines the means and manner of operation. The coach determines the plays he will call and who will run them.

Teachers are coaches.

The dignity of labor and the dignity of person requires responsibility commensurate with accountability.

Today, teachers are held accountable but are denied responsibility. The means of teaching is chosen by someone other than the person held accountable. In addition, teachers are trained to exercise the means in a manner that someone else dictated.

Thus, when the results are negative only those who choose the means and manner can be held accountable.

Change the paradigm to honor the dignity of person and the dignity of labor and test scores will go up — and teacher absenteeism will go down.

Change the paradigm. Restore teaching as a profession.

Dr. Lewis Rutherford



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