Diane\'s Blog

California Second Grade Teacher

November 8, 2010

Dear Diane,

Someone in my school district just sent me a link to your fantastic article in the New York Times Book Review of Waiting for Superman. I cannot tell you how fantastic it was to read your article.

I am a second grade teacher in California and I work in a Title I school. For many years we were the only Title I school in our district. We have tried every program known to man to help our students and have only experienced modest gains in our test scores. It is so disheartening. This year we are in year 1 of program improvement. It is more stressful than ever and we feel so discouraged by the lack of growth no matter how many new research based programs we implement (Thinking Maps, Project Glad, ST Math, RTI and that is just a few of countless programs that we have tried in the last 10 years).

Every night as I drive home from work I listen to the news and I hear how teachers are the problem, we are the lazy overpaid people with bloated pensions that are ruining America. I’ve run out of words to fight back and with all the time in the classroom (7:30 a.m. to 6 or 7 p.m.) I haven’t had time to read up on the research. Your article made me want to stand up and shout “Yes!” We are not crazy; there are reasons that no matter how much we do, no matter how many hours we tutor kids after school the gains are so small. I am printing out your fantastic review of the Superman movie and giving a copy to everyone I know!

Thank you so much for your fantastic defense of the American Public School System. You made my day!!

With Deepest Gratitude,